Concern over the worsening global migration situation and the fact that receiving countries are becoming more restrictive in their policies towards economic migrants has been expressed by the World Medical Association.
At its annual Assembly in Reykjavik, the WMA emphasised the role of physicians in actively supporting and promoting the rights of all people to medical care based solely on clinical necessity and protesting against legislation and practices contrary to this fundamental right.
Delegates passed an emergency resolution urging its members and the international health community to advocate for the necessary healthcare for countries that welcome and receive large numbers of migrants. They also called for governments to deliver care in an adequate and coordinated manner to the migrant population.
WMA President Dr. Leonid Eidelman said: ‘Migration trends, far from being resolved, are in fact getting worse. And they are putting people in mortal danger. What is now happening is violating people’s fundamental right to health and in many cases forcing them to abandon their countries to search for a better life.
‘Migration is a global problem. It is caused by many factors, including demographic and economic inequalities among countries, in addition to war, hunger and natural disasters. But the majority of receiving countries are now becoming more and more restrictive towards economic migrants. We must ensure that physicians remain strongly engaged in the defence of human rights and the dignity of all people worldwide.
‘The prioritization of the care of human beings must always come above any other consideration or interest’.