Portugal: assessing health-system capacity to manage sudden large influxes of migrants
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AbstractThe area of migration and health is one of the topics to which the new WHO European health policy framework – Health 2020 – has drawn particular attention, along with other issues related to population vulnerability and human rights. Health 2020 provides a comprehensive framework for, as well as values and approaches to action that are much needed in public health work in the field of migration and health. A sudden influx of migrants has occurred on several occasions in the countries of the WHO European Region over recent years, posing significant challenges to the health systems of the recipient countries and requiring basic services to be scaled up to facilitate the appropriate response to the essential needs of the migrants and to fulfil their fundamental human rights. The unpredictable nature of the migration phenomenon calls Member States to strengthen the preparedness of their health systems to manage a potential large influx of displaced populations and to invest in emergency management capabilities and effective multisectoral coordination mechanisms. With this in mind, an assessment of Portugal’s health system capacity to manage large influxes of migrants was jointly conducted by the country’s Ministry of Health and WHO. Influxes in the southern European countries in particular underlined the need to identify best practices, share experiences and enter into an efficient policy dialogue between stakeholders. Portugal is implementing measures consistent with World Health Assembly resolution WHA 61.17 of 2008 and the Global Consultation on Migrant Health of 2010 in Madrid, Spain. In several aspects, Portugal could be seen as model for migrant integration practices, although in terms of preparedness there is scope to strengthen planning and surge capacity. Activities were conducted within the framework of WHO’s Public Health Aspects of Migration in Europe project, which, sustained by a direct contribution from the Italian Ministry of Health, supports the ongoing work of the WHO European Region to strengthen national and local capacities of Member States in order to address migrants’ health needs, with a focus on public health aspects.
Unknown author (2014). Portugal: assessing health-system capacity to manage sudden large influxes of migrants. WHO Regional Office for Europe. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/144577
ISBN978 92 890 5072 2
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