How Europe keeps migrants out of its health system, by Sophie Arie

Saúde Global

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 24 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2216

Sophie Arie, journalist, London

Europe may not want to rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa to enter Europe illegally, but those who reach dry land do receive the healthcare they need. However, asks Sophie Arie, does it last after the cameras have stopped watching?

What healthcare are migrants given on arrival by boat?

On arrival by sea, migrants are usually sunburnt, dehydrated, and exhausted. Often, those who paid less than others or of nationalities considered inferior by the human traffickers who operate the boats are locked below deck throughout the journey and come close to suffocation.

All migrants are given water and a health check immediately. Those requiring emergency care are quickly identified and taken to the nearest hospital.

Some have injuries or trauma from earlier stages of their journey. For example…

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