EP Resolution on "Reducing health inequalities in the EU" adopted on March 8th!
We are happy to inform you that the European Parliament (EP) adopted a Resolution on ‘Reducing health inequalities in the EU’, on 8 March 2011, in which it calls on Member States to tackle health inequalities in access to health care for undocumented migrants. The resolution was adopted by 379 votes in favour, 228 against and 49 abstentions.
The resolution is a significant step forward in ensuring equitable access to healthcare for all, with no discrimination linked to administrative status or financial resources. Even if the text is not legally binding for the EU member states, it is a clear message sent by the only directly elected body of the EU to European and national decision-makers to protect the rights and health of undocumented migrants, especially pregnant women and children.
In this resolution, the EP stresses that “health inequalities are not only the result of a host of economic, environmental and lifestyle-related factors, but also of problems relating to access to healthcare”; and that “equitable access to healthcare is not secured, not only in practice but also in law, for undocumented migrants in many EU countries”. The EP calls on the Member States “to ensure that the most vulnerable groups, including undocumented migrants, are entitled to and are provided equitable access to healthcare”; “to assess the feasibility to support healthcare for irregular migrants by providing a definition based on common principles for basic elements of healthcare as defined by their national legislation”; and “to ensure all pregnant women and children, irrespective of their status, are entitled to and effectively benefit from social protection as defined in their national legislation”.
This achievement is the result of years of hard work done by migrants’ organisations, advocates and policy makers. Many of them gathered in the European Parliament on 8 December 2010, on the occasion of a public hearing, organised by Médecins du Monde, the HUMA network, PICUM, the European Women's Lobby (EWL) and the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), that highlighted how undocumented migrants – especially undocumented pregnant women and children – are threatened by both legislative and practical barriers when trying to access healthcare.
View the photos on Flikr and watch the videos of the Public Hearing which you can find here below.
Video of the Public Hearing ENGLISH (12mins)
Video de l'audition publique FRANCAIS (12mins)