Civil society raises concerns about migrant health protection

EPF, together with 25 partners,  calls on EU Ministers of Health, to highlight the lack of improvements in migrants’ health in the past year and the immediate need for universal access to healthcare in the EU. 

Increasingly dangerous migration routes due to tightened border controls, detention, and living in fear of expulsion is what awaits the majority of migrants who decide to seek safety and refuge in Europe, with obvious consequences for their health. Doctors of the World reveals that 54.2% of pregnant women seen in their clinics had no access to antenatal care and less than one out of every two children (42.5%) had been vaccinated against tetanus. Excluding specific groups from healthcare is unethical and promotes health and social inequalities which should be tackled in the EU.

Access to high-quality healthcare for all patients is a basic human right and a core value of EPF which informs our policy work on health inequalities. “EPF is committed to non-discrimination and equitable access to healthcare. We fully support this letter and call on Member States to uphold health as a priority in all policies and to ensure the right to health of migrants is fully respected. We strongly believe all patients should have access to the care they need.  The EU has committed to universal access to health[1] and this cannot be achieved with policies that hinder migrants’ access to healthcare in place” said EPF Policy Officer, Laurène Souchet.

EPF supports the letter written by the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) and the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) ahead of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting. We call on Health Ministers to take action towards health protection for all migrants and to drive developments towards universal access to healthcare for all patients in the EU.

Contact: EPF Policy Officer, Laurène Souchet, laurene.souchet@eu-patient-eu