Migrants Must Have Access To Proper Health Care, Says WMA

(16.12.2016) The world’s migrants must have access to appropriate health care and protection, the World Medical Association said today.

In a statement to mark the annual Global Candlelight Vigil on Sunday (December 18), commemorating all those migrants who lost their lives this year, the WMA said that the global community needed to act to care for the large number of people currently seeking refuge or asylum.

The United Nations International Migrants Day is held annually on December 18 to recognize the efforts, contributions, and rights of migrants worldwide.

WMA President Dr. Ketan Desai said the authorities had failed to prevent the tragic deaths this year of thousands of migrants fleeing from war, violence and poverty.

‘However, there is much we can all do now to ensure that proper health care is provided for those thousands of migrants seeking help at the moment.

‘We believe that physicians have a duty to provide appropriate medical care for all migrants and that governments should not deny patients the right to receive such care. What matters is not who the migrants are or where they come from, but what their clinical needs are.

‘Refusing to provide health care for migrants is not only morally wrong, it poses a serious medical risk from the spread of disease.

‘The global community must learn from the mistakes it made this year to ensure the right of all people to receive medical care on the basis of clinical need alone. And doctors have a duty to speak out against legislation and practices that are in opposition to this fundamental right’.