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.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

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

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

Progress in medical research: leading or lagging behind?

These are America’s most dangerous jobs

More women in Latin America are working, but gender gap persists, new UN figures show

Governments can fight corruption by joining the digital payment revolution

3 ways to fix the way we fund humanitarian relief

Health: The neglected aspect of climate change

Labels for tyres: deal for greener and safer road transport

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

Is friendly public transport the answer to the loneliness epidemic?

Why the financial scandals multiply?

The US is withdrawing from a 144-year-old treaty. Here’s the context

The EU finally seizes the opportunity to support the sharing economy?

Donor countries set international standard for preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment in development sector

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

UN urges ‘maximum restraint’ as Israel-Hamas tensions rise over rocket attack

‘Act now with ambition and urgency’ to tackle the world’s ‘grave climate emergency’, UN chief urges UAE meeting

Fleeing Venezuela: MEPs to probe humanitarian conditions in Colombia and Brazil

The G7 fails to agree on growth but protects the big banks

WHO supports measles campaign targeting millions of children in northern Nigeria

China is sending science students to live with rural farmers – and crop yields are skyrocketing

The ethical dilemmas of medicine

Coronavirus: Commission presents practical guidance to ensure continuous flow of goods across EU via green lanes

At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, first UN global study shows

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

5 ways Coca-Cola is cleaning up its plastic footprint in Africa

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

This top-10 of business risks misses the biggest of them all: climate change

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

Afghanistan: UN mission welcomes new polling dates following election delays

Microplastic and nanoplastic pollution threatens our enviroment. How should we respond?

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Tunisia coastline in need of climate cash boost

‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis – UN

The EU Commission implicates major banks in cartel cases, threatens with devastating fines

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

European Youth Forum and youngest MEPs call on President Juncker to keep his promise to Europe’s youth

New UN finance panel to push Global Goals forward

Barcelona’s ‘superblocks’ could save lives and cut pollution, says report

Why transparency in drug pricing is more complicated than it seems

Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine

UN food aid to Yemen will fully resume after two-month break, as Houthis ‘guarantee’ delivery

Manufacturing is finally entering a new era

Youth Entrepreneurship Issue of the month: JEN, organisers of JADE October Meeting, on why JEs should come together

Here’s why the tech sector could be the next target for Chinese investment in Africa

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Is the energy industry meeting its sustainability goals?

One-sixth of the world’s economy has now pledged to cut CO2 to zero by 2050

Viet Nam shows how you can contain COVID-19 with limited resources

The ethics of the Medical Technology Civilisation era

UN Security Council calls for South Sudan leaders to speed up action on peace deal

“Decisions taken in the coming weeks will shape Europe’s experience of the internet”, Joe Mcnamee from EDRi says live from European Business Summit 2015

3 vital skills for the age of disruption

Promoting rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU

Here are 3 lessons Europe can learn from China’s flourishing start-ups

Mario Draghi didn’t do it but Kim Jong-un did

The financial world upside-down: debt failure closer

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