Cost of exclusion from healthcare – The case of migrants in an irregular situation

This report aims to estimate the economic cost of providing timely access to screening and treatment for migrants in an irregular situation, compared with providing treatment only in emergency cases. It presents an economic model to calculate such costs for two medical conditions: hypertension and prenatal care. To better illustrate its application in practice, the model is applied to three European Union (EU) Member States – Germany, Greece and Sweden.

Although results must be interpreted with caution, the testing shows that providing access to regular preventive healthcare for migrants in an irregular situation would be cost-saving for healthcare systems. Even when using a simple model to estimate costs, the implications are clear: treating a condition only when it becomes an emergency not only endangers the health of a patient, but also results in a greater economic burden to healthcare systems.