This line of action focuses on increasing equitable access to comprehensive, timely, quality health services for all people, including the migrant population, without discrimination and with a people- and community- centered approach. It is essential to determine specific barriers to access and define specific interventions, for example, facilitating linguistic, intercultural, and financial support to improve access to health services for migrant and host populations. Existing mechanisms in place should be strengthened to increase health services capacity in areas with a high influx of migrant populations. Services should cover the continuum of care, including promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation based on the health needs ascertained.
In general, migrants do not pose an additional health security threat to host communities. Initial screening— not limited to infectious diseases—can be an effective public health instrument, but should be nondiscriminatory and non-stigmatizing, and carried out to the benefit of the individual and the public; it should also be linked to accessing treatment, care and support. It is unlikely to be necessary if health systems are strong and capable.
List of key interventions
- Identify health needs of migrants and health systems gaps to respond to these needs, including specific and common gaps related to access and coverage in communities along border areas.
- Include health needs in country plans, policies, and programs related to migration, while promoting the participation of the Ministry of Health in their development processes.
- Develop health contingency plans and ensure that emergency-affected populations, including migrants, have access to an essential package of life-saving health services.
- Scale-up prevention and control interventions, including short term and longer-term responses for the management of communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental health and risk factors, recognizing the importance of integrated interventions based on the different needs of migrants, considering key determinants of health, such as age, gender, education, cultural sensitivity, and the nature of the trauma.
- Develop protocols and institute measures to ensure the monitoring and provision of sexual, reproductive and maternal-child health care, as well as specialized care for the survivors of trauma and violence.
- Implement strategies within national immunization plans to increase vaccination coverage for hard-toreach populations, including migrant communities.
- Provide adequate resources to enhance continuity and quality of care, and ensure health services are accessible and inclusive for all, including populations with mental, physical and sensory impairments.
- Provide access to comprehensive, high-quality health services on a continuing long-term basis, if required, supported by referral processes and an Integrated Health Service Delivery Network (IHSDN), with an inclusive approach that integrates the health needs of the migrant population (including relevant health care providers, NGOs and civil society organizations).
- Provide health workforce training to develop inter-professional teams at the first level of care with combined competencies in comprehensive care and an intercultural and social determinants approach to health. Training on health equity and human rights-based approaches is a key element for health professionals and relevant non-health actors.
- Include, if feasible, qualified migrant health workers in the design, implementation and evaluation of migrant-sensitive health services and educational programs.
- Ensure core capacities for national and international implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005).
- Make available information on health care services provided to migrants by all relevant actors, at national and local levels (including NGOs and civil society organizations), to avoid duplicating efforts.