Governments Urged to Provide Full Health Care to Refugees and Migrants

(09.09.2015) Governments around the world have been urged by doctors’ leaders to ensure that migrants and refugees receive full access to health care. Dr. Xavier Deau, President of the World Medical Association, said it was essential that the health care of migrants and refugees was not neglected in a bid to save money.

Dr. Deau quoted new evidence from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights suggesting that migrants in the EU often found themselves cut off from health screening and preventive treatment.

‘Yet this same research shows that European Union member states would spend less on migrant health by treating them earlier rather than waiting until they required emergency treatment.

‘The WMA’s Declaration of Geneva makes it absolutely clear that the duty of doctors is to cure all patients without considerations of ethnic origin, gender, nationality or political affiliation. Health is a human right and it is essential that all the migrants and refugees should be welcomed with dignity and respect.

‘I repeat the call by the WMA to all parties in the Syrian conflict to ensure the safety of healthcare personnel and their patients, as well as medical facilities and medical transport.

‘The WMA calls again on its members to approach their governments in order to facilitate international cooperation in the United Nations, the European Union or other international bodies with the aim of ensuring the safe provision of health care to the Syrian people and to other refugees and migrants.'