According to the first article in a six-part series from PLoS Medicine, attention to migrants’ health remains limited. Even in places where migration health policies exist, “they operate primarily in isolation at national levels and cover only fragmented snapshots of people’s movement, with few binding regional or global health protection agreements to respond to the true scope of contemporary migration,” write the study authors.

Researchers in the PLoS Medicine study paid particular attention to what they call a chasm between those who provide health services to migrants and those who make policies regarding migrants’ rights. “At the same time that clinicians are treating more diverse migrant groups, policymakers are attempting to implement restrictive or exclusive immigration-related health policies that contradict public health needs and undermine medical ethics that operate on the ground,” they stated.

For these reasons the research team—which is from Britain—reported that development and implementation of policies that respond to migrant groups’ diversity, differential health risks, and service access are needed. To make real advances in the protection of both individuals and public health, interventions must target each stage of the migration process and reach across borders, they added. Services should be based on human rights principles that foster accessible care for individual migrants.

Take a look at the full article, and tell us what you think.

Physician’s Weekly wants to know…

  • Does the report seem valid to you, and if so, how should it be interpreted?
  • Do you think it is time for decision-makers from the migration and health sectors to sit at the same table with those from other sectors like those in development, humanitarian aid, human rights, and labor to make migration safe and healthy?
  • Whom do you think should pay for this healthcare, and where should the money come from?