Healthcare systems across Europe are failing the continent’s most marginalised people, according to a new report by humanitarian group Médecins du Monde presented today at the European Parliament in cooperation with the Global Progressive Forum.
Enrique Guerrero Salom MEP, Co-Chair of the Global Progressive Forum, declared:
“We, as progressives, will fight for universal health coverage for all people within the EU, regardless of their migration status. Universal means universal.
Too often, too many of our Member States limit access to healthcare for undocumented migrants to emergency care. This is unfair, inhumane, and inefficient in the long run.”
As well as physical problems, many patients are suffering psychological trauma. Médecins du Monde and partner NGOs treated patients with a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, as well as women with complications arising from pregnancy. More than half had no health insurance so they could not afford official medical care. Many said they were unable to navigate the administrative hurdles of local health systems; some lacked knowledge of the local language; and others faced discrimination, were turned away or feared arrest. The report found varying vaccination rates among children, a source of concern given the need to ensure recommended immunisation levels.
Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice-President of the S&D Group, stated:
“What we want to promote as progressives, is to offer access to antenatal and postnatal care for women, to public mental health services, and to health promotion. No one should be left behind. This is also valid for access to education and to other public services”.
About the Report
The Observatory Report is a snapshot of those who are falling through the cracks in European healthcare systems, based on data and interviews gathered in 2016 from 43,286 people in 13 countries across Europe who attended clinics and programmes run by Médecins du Monde, and partner NGOs. The report is produced in partnership with University College of London’s Institute of Global Health. Data on the health status of excluded groups is notoriously difficult to collect so the report, an annual piece of research, aims to further understanding of health inequalities and inform advocacy towards more equitable healthcare systems in Europe.
The European Network to reduce vulnerabilities in health, hosted by Médecins du Monde, brings together MdM programmes, partner NGO’s and academics from 17 EU member States and 2 EFTA/EEA countries. The Network common goal is to contribute to decreased EU-wide health inequalities and to more responsive health systems that are better equipped to deal with vulnerability factors that increase health inequalities.