Tuesday, October 11, 2011

[EQ] Migrants in an irregular situation: Access to healthcare in 10 European Union Member States

Migrants in an irregular situation:
Access to healthcare in 10 European Union Member States

11 October, 2011 - European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

            Available online PDF file [68p.] at: http://bit.ly/p64dvg


This report documents the legal, economic and practical obstacles that hinder irregular migrants' access to healthcare. 

“…..This research includes in-depth interviews with irregular migrants, public authorities, healthcare staff and civil society organisations in 21 cities in 10 Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden).


The report found several barriers to accessing healthcare for migrants in an irregular situation, that is, non-nationals present in an EU Member State without a visa or residence permit:

·         Irregular migrants – who are not usually permitted to work – are often required to pay for medical care that is available cost-free to nationals. This includes emergency medical care, as well as antenatal, postnatal and delivery care for pregnant women and healthcare for children.

·         The risk of possible deportation deters irregular migrants from seeking even emergency healthcare. In some EU Member States, a policy or practice exists of reporting irregular migrants to immigration authorities when they access health services.


The report suggests several ways forward:

·         Access to necessary healthcare should be made available cost-free to irregular migrants on the same basis as nationals. Children should have equal access to healthcare, and pregnant women should have access to services for antenatal and postnatal care, and for delivery.

·         Healthcare authorities should not be placed under a duty to report migrants in an irregular situation to immigration authorities, and such practices should be discontinued.

This report is the second of three on the fundamental rights of irregular migrants in the EU. The report Migrants in an irregular situation employed in domestic work, was launched in July of this year. The comparative report on ‘Fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation in the European Union’ will be launched at FRA’s 2011 Fundamental Rights Conference addressing ‘Dignity and rights of irregular migrants’ to be held on 21-22 November 2011in Warsaw….”








1.1. General entitlements to healthcare

1.2. Entitlements for specific diseases

1.3. Entitlements for specific groups




4.1. Costs and reimbursements

4.2. Unawareness of entitlements

4.3. Reporting migrants to the police

4.4. Discretionary power of public and healthcare authorities

4.5. Quality and continuity of care



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