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Adequate access to healthcare for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees

“On the occasion of World Health Day, we call for adequate access to healthcare for all migrants in Europe, including refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants,” Liliane Maury Pasquier, Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Public Health of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and Thierry Mariani, Chairperson of the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, declared today.

Referring to PACE Resolution 1946 (2013) on “Equal access to health care”, they recalled that asylum seekers, refugees and migrants – especially those in an irregular situation – tend to have problems accessing healthcare, as national health systems often discriminate against them in spite of several international treaties and commitments protecting their rights. They drew attention to the particularly difficult situation of elderly migrants, including elderly migrant women.

“The right to health is a fundamental human right. Turning a blind eye to the healthcare needs of people who flee war, violence, persecution, hunger or extreme poverty is not acceptable. Despite the challenges that it is currently facing, Europe has a legal and moral duty to provide healthcare to all migrants,” said the two Chairpersons.