Are we letting politicians play with migrants’ health?

Avramopoulos 2019

Visit of Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship to Washington DC and New York City.European Union, 2019 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Mariona Borell, a 22-year-old medical student from Barcelona. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Spain is one of the few lucky countries that has Universal Health Coverage, but it was not like that roughly one year ago (and it is not even now).

In 2011, the main conservative and right-wing party won the elections with absolute majority and, amongst many other actions, in 2012 they decided to revocate the law that guaranteed access to free healthcare for all. The state spent six years where only those who had the supposed privilege of owning a Spanish ID or a working visa were able to access healthcare free of charge. In mid 2018 a vote of no confidence in Mariano Rajoy, our then president, passed and the main center-left party began leading the country instead. Reinstating that law, undoing their predecessors’ decision was one of their first moves as a government, but maintaining certain restrictions and written in a way that is not well defined and still needs a lot of work.

Why is it so easy to deprive people from their basic rights? Can you imagine fearing getting sick because you wouldn’t be able to afford proper healthcare?

This is how many families lived in Spain during those six years. And this struggle is not finished yet. At this very moment it is uncertain if their human right of access to healthcare will be violated or not in the near future. Whoever gets elected has migrants’ fate in their hands.

Do we really want to live in a society where not letting certain groups of people get proper healthcare is an argument used to get to the position of leading said society?

As future health professionals, it is our responsibility to center our advocacy efforts and strategies on making sure that inconsistency and instability of access to healthcare in our country is no longer an issue. We need to ensure that changing or revoking that law is an extremely difficult task to accomplish in order to erase violating people’s fundamental human rights from politicians’ election campaigns.

Access to healthcare should not be a card a minority of people in a position of power can play with.

About the author

Mariona Borell is a 22-year-old medical student from Barcelona. She has participated in
and delivered trainings on various topics related to health, attended Barcelona’s Global
Health Summer School last July and is a Global Health advocate. She has been on multiple IFMSA exchanges and attended various of the federation’s meetings. Those experiences have led her to expand her knowledge of intercultural learning, global health, ethical placements abroad and many other subjects currently not on the medical curricula.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

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

Trade deals’ pure realism: it may take 10 years for a post-Brexit agreement

Threat to biodiversity risks a flood of economic ruin

Assassinations in Ethiopia amidst regional ‘coup’ attempt, condemned by UN chief

Mixed news about the Eurozone economy

Parliament compromises on Banking Union but sends market abusers to jail

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

COVID-19: More new virus cases outside China than in, ‘no time for complacency’, says UN health agency

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

Globally, youth are the largest poverty-stricken group, says new UN report

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

Civil society groups matter for Cambodia’s sustainable development: UN expert

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Six children among 53 confirmed fatalities after Libya detention centre airstrikes: Security Council condemns attack

EU and China in search of a win-win agreement through strategic cooperation ahead of the EU-China summit

EU tourism industry expects a new record year in 2014

Consumer protection: Commission welcomes political agreement by Council on the Representative Actions Directive

5 ways the world is rallying around Australia as bushfires rage

EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

Family businesses are the lifeblood of the Middle East. How do we ensure they survive?

The EU’s outermost regions: strengthened partnership bears fruit

5 facts to know about Africa’s powerhouse – Nigeria

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

Concerned over Haiti’s political crisis, Guterres promises ‘continuous commitment’

How fixing broken food systems can help us meet all the SDGs

International Women’s Day 2019: women’s power in politics

Disaster Medicine in Medical Education: the investment you just can´t afford to ignore

Not faith, ‘but those who manipulate the faithful’ driving wedge between religions, UN-backed forum in Baku told

How bad could British healthcare get for its citizens abroad post-Brexit?

Outgoing UN official praises Iraq’s ‘exemplary peaceful transfer of power’ at the top

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

Privatization and public health: a question of Human Rights

10 cities are predicted to gain megacity status by 2030

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

COP25 climate talks: What just happened, and what lies ahead?

More funds needed to counter ‘persistent and multi-faceted humanitarian problems’ in Ethiopia

Parental leave: why we can’t wait a century for equal rights for women

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

Trade surplus up production down in Eurozone

Realise the beauty of unity in diversity

Terrorism diverts resources from ‘much-needed’ development to ‘costly’ security, warns UN envoy for Central Africa

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

Reforms in the Western Balkans and Turkey: annual assessments and recommendations

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

Venezuela: Parliament calls for urgent EU help for people fleeing the country

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

Intensified Al Qaeda and ISIL activity in Yemen ‘deeply worrying’, says UN Human Rights Office

Australia’s bushfires have pumped out half a year’s CO2 emissions

Further reforms will promote a stronger and more inclusive Hungarian economy

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

How to accelerate digital literacy in the enterprise world

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

Libya: UN report urges accountability for deadly attack against migrant centre

Scotland “shows the way” to separatist movements as Catalonia calls a vote on independence

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

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