Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis and rising xenophobia

Author: Chauvin, P, Simonnot, S & Vanbiervliet, F

Corporate author: Doctors of the World

Publication date: April 2013


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Based on data collected from consultations with over 8,000 patients in seven countries, this report says that austerity measures are having a profound negative effect on social protection schemes, including healthcare.  It also finds xenophobia to be a growing problem, with migrants often being made scapegoats for economic problems. Moreover, counter to claims of widespread ‘health tourism,’ among the reasons for migration only 1.6 per cent concerned personal health reasons.  The report calls for European governments to take immediate action in the following areas:

  • a coherent EU public health policy for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
  • equal access for all to national immunisation schemes and to paediatric care.
  • equal access to pre- and post-natal care for all pregnant women (of those surveyed, 59 per cent of pregnant women did not have access to pre-natal care on the day our health professionals met them).
  • granting full protection in Europe for seriously ill migrants who cannot access adequate healthcare in their country of origin.