e-Library

Q&A

Q: "Migrants carry infectious diseases?"

A: (According to research) It was demonstrated that the presence of migrants and refugees in our countries do not pose a significantly increased risk for the general population to acquire infectious diseases.

Percentage of migrants arriving in a compromised health condition is between 2 and 5% and concerns mental health, pregnancy-related complications, cardiovascular disease and above all injuries due to incidents during migration route.

The majority of migrants/refugees who arrive to Europe are healthy. Only 2% to 5% have some sort of health problem which mostly concerns mental or pregnancy-related health issues, cardiovascular disease and above all injuries due to accidents or bad living conditions during the migrant journey.

WHO considers as the most frequent health problems among refugees and migrants “accidental injuries, hypothermia, burns, gastrointestinal illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, pregnancy-related illnesses, diabetes, hypertension”.
See link for more info


Q: "Migrants overload national welfare systems?"

Evidence based on European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The report “ Cost of exclusion from healthcare – The case of migrants in an irregular situation” published by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) aims to estimate the economic cost of providing regular access to healthcare for migrants in an irregu¬lar situation, compared with the cost of providing treatment in emergency cases only. Two specific medical condi¬tions – hypertension and prenatal care – were selected as examples, and their associated costs were calculated using an economic model. This model was then applied to three EU Member States: Germany, Greece and Sweden. The testing suggests that providing access to regular preventive healthcare for migrants in an irregular situation would be cost-saving for governments. Moreover, as the model only includes costs incurred by healthcare systems, not costs incurred by the patient or society at large, it is likely that the cost savings are underestimated. This report shows that providing regular preventive care, as opposed to providing only emergency care, is cost-saving for healthcare systems. Even when using a simple model to estimate costs, the implications are clear: treating a condition only when it becomes an emergency not only endangers the health of a patient, but also results in a greater economic burden to health¬care systems.
https://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2015/cost-exclusion-healthcare-case-migrants-irregular-situation

Evidence based on countries' data

References for Italy:

The economic benefits that the migrant population brings to Italy outweigh the costs to the national health system.

References for Spain:

Migrants consume a large part of the health budget. This prejudice is linked to other similar ones as, "Many migrants take advantage of health and social resources enabled through our effort of many years", "Too many resources are devoted to the care of immigrants". The system is overloaded, and a large part of the population accuses immigrants of damaging the functioning of the system. However, recent studies show that the immigrant population represents 10% of the population, and their health expenses 0.69% of the total (2.5% of emergency care services), so this discourse is discredited (Miras, 2015; Etxeberria, Murua, Arrieta, Garmendia, & Etxeberria, 2012).

  • ETXEBERRIA, F., MURUA, H., ARRIETA, E., GARMENDIA, J., & ETXEBERRIA, J. (2012). Prejuicios, inmigración y educación. Actitudes del alumnado de secundaria. Revista Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado, 97-131.
  • MIRAS, C. (2015). Prejuicios y racismo en la atención de Enfermería a población inmigrante en España (TFG). UNIVERSIDAD DE JAÉN. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, 38.
  • PLAZA DEL PINO, F. (2012). Prejuicios de las enfermeras hacia la población inmigrante: una mirada desde el Sur de España. Scielo, 87-96.

References for France:

  • Hippolyte d’Albis, Ekrame Boubtane and Dramane Coulibaly , Macroeconomic evidence suggests that asylum seekers are not a “burden” for Western European countries Science Advances 20 Jun 2018: Vol. 4, no. 6, eaaq0883 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaq0883
  • André J.M. ; Azzedine, F. Access to healthcare for undocumented migrants in France: a critical examination of State Medical Assistance Public Health Reviews201637:5
  • Chambaud, L. Azzedine, F. La Tribune Santé des migrants: les préjugés ont la vie dure 17 décembre 2017 https://www.latribune.fr/opinions/tribunes/sante-des-migrants-les-prejuges-ont-la-vie-dure-789150.html