Recommendations on access to health services for migrants in an irregular situation: an expert consensus

Author/s: David Ingleby, Roumyana Petrova-Benedict
Language: English
Publication Type: Technical Report(External)

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This document has been produced within the framework of the IOM’s EQUI-HEALTH project (Fostering health provision for migrants, the Roma, and other vulnerable groups), in collaboration with COST Action IS1103 ADAPT (Adapting European health systems to diversity). The recommendations reflect a consensus that was developed in the course of a series of joint international meetings in 2012-2016 attended by experts on migration, health policy, human rights law, health economics and epidemiology, as well as by representatives of intergovernmental and civil society organisations concerned with migrant health.


  • Introduction
  • Recommendations
  • Overview of the main issues
  • I. The present situation
  1. Current population and main characteristics of IMs in Europe
  2. Health needs of IMs
  3. IMs' access to appropriate health services
  • II. Arguments for policy change
  1. International law
  2. Public health principles
  3. Economic arguments
  4. Special arguments for vulnerable groups
  • III. Improving access
  1. Informing public opinion
  2. Dealing with the confidentiality issue
  3. Addressing the issue of political acceptability and equity
  4. Models for improving coverage
  5. Models for reducing non-legal barriers to access and improving quality
  6. Rethinking the role of CSOs


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