The project aims to facilitate the transition from institutional to community-based care and integrated services for migrants and refugees that will ensure health equality and promote social inclusion.
Mig-HealthCare - strengthening Community Based Care to minimize health inequalities and improve the integration of vulnerable migrants and refugees into local communities, is a three year project that was launched in May 2017, with the financial support of the European Commission. The project is implemented by a consortium of Universities, national authorities and NGOs from ten countries across Europe, with diverse experience on issues of public health and integration of refugees and migrants.
The overall objective of Mig-HealthCare is to improve health care access for vulnerable migrants and refugees, support their inclusion and participation in European communities and reduce health inequalities. Mig-HealthCare will produce effective community-based care models, pilot tested in different contexts and countries, which will focus on health promotion and prevention. It will develop guidelines and tools to reorient health care services to a community level.
Describe the current physical and mental health profile of vulnerable migrants and refugees in the EU 28 including the needs, expectations and capacities of service providers.
Develop a roadmap and toolbox for the implementation of community based care models for refugees and migrants, following an assessment of existing health services and best practices.
Train community health and social care service providers on appropriate delivery of health care models for vulnerable migrants and refugees.
Pilot test and evaluate the community based care models which emphasize prevention, physical and mental health promotion and integration.
Background to the project
Over the past few years, a large number of refugees, vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers are reaching the south-eastern borders of the European Union, creating a challenge for the social and health systems of the bordering countries which is inevitably transmitted to the rest of the EU countries. Countries like Greece, Italy and Malta have experienced a massive influx of refugees and vulnerable migrants to the extent that it has challenged the capacity of the health systems already aggravated by the recent financial and social constraints. Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are at a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion compared to the general population, while the different vulnerable groups face diverse barriers when accessing health services.
In many cases they do not receive appropriate health and social care that best meets their needs. Furthermore, Member States of the European Union have very different circumstances when it comes to how health and social care for migrants is organized. Research has shown the importance of community-based health care models to improve access of vulnerable migrants and refugees. These emphasize elements of good communication, cultural awareness, sensitivity and respect for the diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds of refugees by the community staff as well health education and primary healthcare.