Refugees Need Better Access To Health Care

November 19, 1998

Refugees and primary care: tackling the inequalities

The refugee population in Britain is highly diverse and is likely to remain large, as conflicts around the world continue. Currently there are 230,000 refugees living in the UK and almost half of these are in London. Refugees have had to leave their countries of origin to escape persecution, imprisonment, torture and even death, and when they arrive in Britain they are often in poor health. Grief and worry about relatives they have left behind can cause mental health problems, which can be worsened by various factors including language difficulties, family separation, hostility from the host population and traumatic experiences before displacement.

In this week's BMJ Dr David Jones from the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London and Dr Paramjit Gill from the University of Birmingham propose a series of steps that could be taken to improve access to health care for refugees in the UK. These suggestions include initiatives such as intensive courses in spoken English; a Department of Health information pack containing a certificate of entitlement to NHS treatment; the development of a telephone interpreting service and guidelines for general practices on the process of registration for a refugee patient.

The authors also suggest that the 60 million extra funds negotiated for GPs by the General Medical Services Committee (now the General Practice Committee) should be used to reward doctors for caring for refugee patients. They say that this additional workload is not covered by the current system of deprivation payments. They conclude that a truly effective solution requires the political will to develop a comprehensive strategy at a national level, which they recognise will be difficult when other groups (such as the mentally ill and the elderly) are also in need of greater resources.

Contact:

Dr David Jones, Lecturer, Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London. email: d.l.jones@ucl.ac.uk
-end-


BMJ

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.