On 8 November 2017, the European Network to Reduce Vulnerabilities in Health launched the 2017 Observatory Report at the European Parliament
- The first panel introduced the findings of the Observatory report, with speakers such as Enrique Guerrero, current co-President of the Global Progressive Forum, Member of the European Parliament for Spain and Vicepresident of the SD Group from 2012 until January 2017; Patricia Lalonde, MEP and member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe; Rob Aldridge, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow at the Institute of Health Informatics, University College of London; Vivien Vadasi, migration expert from the Hungarian association Menedék; Nina Renshaw, Secretary General at EPHA (European Public Health Alliance); Sandrine Simon, Health and Advocacy Director at Medecins du Monde France.
- The second panel opened a discussion on “will the EU lead the right to health for migrants in Europe?” with speakers such as Tanja Fajon, Slovenian MEP and Vice-Chair of the S&D Group in charge of Migration and Communication and full member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs; Isabel de la Mata, Principal Advisor with special interest on health in the European Commission; Nel Vandevannet, Director of domestic projects in Médecins du Monde Belgium; Michele Levoy, Director of PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants).
The 2017 Observatory Report draws on data and interviews gathered from 43,286 people who attended clinics and programs run by the Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde network and partner NGOs in 14 countries in 2016.
“What our patients have in common, wherever they come from, is that they find themselves in extremely tough situations,” said Dr Françoise Sivignon, President of Médecins du Monde France.
“THEY’RE COMING TO US AS A LAST RESORT WITH SERIOUS, SOMETIMES LIFE THREATENING CONDITIONS BECAUSE THEY’RE FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS IN OFFICIAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS.” – DR. FRANÇOISE SIVIGNON
Many respondents 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.
“Our data suggest that people aren’t coming to Europe to access healthcare – but excluding them from services presents a very real risk to public health. It comes down to a political choice,” added Dr. Sivignon. “Certainly, budgets are tight, but it’s in all our interests that everyone is reached by healthcare and this is often more cost effective in the long run.”
You can access the full video of the event at the Parliament here.