The impact of refugees on the European healthcare system

avramopoulos-2017_

Dimtris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration. EC Audiovisual Services, 25/01/2017.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Stavroula Papaeleftheriou. The writer is a fifth year medical student at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Gr. T. Popa, in Iasi, Romania. She is also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Diaspora was and will always remain a big part of Global History, but over the past years the topic of refugees has been the main focus in the media, where millions of people have been crossing the ocean to get to Greece and Italy in order to be part of the European Union.

On the other hand, we could recall the days when the financial crisis was influencing severely the Greek economy and which by its turn had an intense impact on the Greek health system, failing to cover basic medical needs in emergencies and cases of chronic pathologies that were affecting the refugees who were coming to Greece. The lack of medical supplies and trained personnel was partially covered by the aid of Non-Governmental Organizations.

The NGO created over the past years camps with small clinics in order to help these people on their physical and psychical health.  From the refugees who passed through the island of Lesvos, the doctor volunteers were acknowledge the existence that the majority of them suffered from sunburns and blisters due to the hundreds of kilometers they walked daily in order to pass the borders; another part were injured with deep burns on body locations highly predisposed to infections, and a smaller percentage were afflicted with rheumatologic and orthopedic pathologies due to war injuries.

Carrying on, we should mention that these people were waiting days, weeks sometimes even months in order to receive some legal documents which will allow them to be part of the community; all this delay had a great influence on their psychological behavior.

Although, despite the effort of the NGOs volunteers, language was the main barrier of communication, where in most of the cases the confidentiality between patient and doctor was broken and misleading information were present.

In addition, most of the refugees were lacking of their medical instructions and treatment due to the fact that they were forced to leave fast from their countries in order to protect their families and themselves.

All in all, we would like to suggest that a health screening program amongst the refugees would be beneficial in order to diagnose the pathologies that some of them are suffering from and provide them a correct treatment.

In order to avoid future complaints of discrimination from locals and migrants, a proper educative program should be provided to schools and media where it will be explained the definition of a refugee and that we should all understand that these people left their life back not by choice and during their “marathon” got injured and they need to be treated.

We were raised with the idea that we should stop the problem from its source, but as it seems in that case a civilized discussion and the suggestion of a solution at the war’s nucleus seem impossible; for that we should help the refugees to dream of a peaceful future.

About the author

Originally coming from the greek island, of Lesbos. Due to personal reasons, she decided to migrate to Romania to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor. The past years she is volunteering on different Societies of her university, as SSMI (Medical Student Society of Iasi), IMJS (International Medical Student Society). She had the chance to volunteer with “Medicine de Monde”, the past year at their refugee camp in Lesvos.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

During the coronavirus pandemic, we must fight for LGBTQ rights more than ever

Final preparations for DCX and IFRA Expo 2019, in association with The European Sting

How two colossal Assyrian icons were recreated using digital tech

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

Difficulties of vaccination against COVID-19

EU takes again positive action on migration crisis while Turkey asks for dear favors in exchange for cooperation

Project Manager – 2024

Social media and the lack of information for blood donation

Commission welcomes provisional agreement on the European Climate Law

The EU to bear the cost of eventual sanctions against Russia

Saudi woman seeking asylum in Thailand ‘now in a secure place’ says UNHCR

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

This is the life of a refugee: the constant destruction and construction of dreams every day

This is where people live the longest in the EU

Nicaragua ‘crisis’ still cause for concern amid murder, torture allegations: Bachelet

This is our chance to completely redefine the meaning of work

European Green Deal: Commission presents actions to boost organic production

Green Deal: measures to step up the fight against global deforestation

These are the countries where most adults still don’t have a smartphone

It’s just electronic cigarette, don’t worry?

Historian Niall Ferguson on what the pandemic means for the global economy, geopolitics – and parties

Coronavirus response: Commission welcomes agreement on crucial VAT relief for vaccines and testing kits

Portuguese Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Romanian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

EU is now giving Google new monopolies to the detriment of European citizens and Internet companies

Mexico: UN chief saddened by pipeline blast in which dozens were killed

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

Thursday’s Daily Brief: ambulance attack in Libya, #GlobalGoals defenders, human rights in Cambodia, Swine Fever

Pay Transparency: Commission proposes measures to ensure equal pay for equal work

This is how drones and other ‘tradetech’ are transforming international trade

Make no mistake: the purpose of business is to serve society

These are the top countries for travel and tourism in 2019

Rare Disease Day: a new EU platform to support better diagnosis and treatment

Spanish and Polish voters are crying out for an imminent European change while US urge now Germany to change route

EU co-ordinating the urgent delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Moldova

Why global collaboration is needed to protect against a new generation of cyber threats

Does upgrading our minds mean losing the spark of genius?

This Brooklyn farm company is training a new generation of urban farmers

Countries are piling on record amounts of debt amid COVID-19. Here’s what that means

A brief history of cryptography and why it matters

Yemen: €95 million in EU humanitarian aid for people threatened by conflict and famine

Parliament: No consent to EU budget until €11.2 billion unpaid bills are settled

Chinese tech investors are turning towards MENA. Here’s why

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

How our Europe will regain its strength: op-ed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

From underestimation to valorization: how mobile technology is transforming global health

The Khashoggi affair: A global complot staged behind closed doors

Safe spaces offer security and dignity for youth, and help make the world ‘better for all’: Guterres

Smart city experts should be looking to emerging markets. Here’s why

Brazil identifies a clear pathway for aligning its transfer pricing framework with the OECD standard

The public health system in Brazil as a promoter of sexual and reproductive health and rights: how does it help in the fight against HIV/AIDS?

Mountains matter, especially if you’re young, UN declares

At G20 Summit OECD’s Gurría says collective action vital to tackle global challenges

Top UN court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide

How fungi could save the world

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Supply chains are on the cusp of a data-fed revolution. Here’s how businesses can succeed.

Global warming: our responsibility

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s