The global refugee crisis presents an enormous challenge for healthcare provision, and supporting vulnerable refugees and migrants is at the heart of our work. We believe migrants should have access to high-quality healthcare at every stage of their journey, regardless of their nationality, immigration status or reason for leaving their country.
We empower refugees and migrants to access health services in the UK and abroad, advocate for national health systems to be more flexible and inclusive, and educate health professionals about how to engage effectively with migrant communities.
Healthcare facilities for the hundreds of thousands of people in refugee camps, in communities and on the move are often inadequate. Mental distress among refugees is particularly common due to the trauma of fleeing war, violence, and persecution, which is then further exacerbated by the stress of the journey.
In 2015 we responded to the humanitarian emergency in the ‘Jungle’ camp in , providing primary healthcare and specialist psychological support, as well as successfully lobbying the French government for better sanitary facilities. We work in camps in Slovenia, Croatia, and , providing support to vulnerable people whose access to free healthcare is extremely restricted. We also advocate for local health services to be opened up to migrant communities.
In the UK
More than 90 per cent of the people we see in are refugees, asylum seekers, victims of trafficking and undocumented migrants. An alarming number of GPs refuse to register people, despite the law stating that everybody in the UK has the right to be treated by a GP regardless of their immigration status or whether they have proof of address documents. We run clinics in east London and Brighton, where we provide basic healthcare, help people access NHS treatment, and make referrals to specialist services. In 2015, these clinics helped 1,600 people.