The economic problems in France are making access to healthcare more difficult for migrants.
|The centre in Paris offers medical and psychological support for people who have difficulty accessing healthcare. Photo: Yoaris Menge|
The rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and foreigners in ill health are increasingly being called into question.
Medical and psychological assistance in Paris
At their medical and psychological centre in Paris, a Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) team takes care of people who have sought refuge in France. Most have fled war zones – in Afghanistan, Chechnya or Sri Lanka – and are suffering from a range of health problems. Many of the people who come to the centre have had extremely difficult lives and have suffered numerous traumatic experiences, including that of exile.
The main aim of the staff is to help the most marginalised people – those who do not speak French and who do not have documentation permitting them to stay in France. Psychologists, social workers, doctors and nurses all work at the centre, so patients have access to a range of support. In total, they carried out 6, 300 consultations, and mental health staff saw 200 new patients.
The vast majority of the 1,000 patients who received medical assistance in 2011 from MSF doctors and nurses sleep on the streets or in temporary accommodation, and have no health insurance.
During the course of the year, in order to further improve access to healthcare, MSF nurses started holding weekly clinics at three emergency hostels run by the non-governmental organisation Emmaüs.
MSF has been providing medical assistance in the country since 1987.