Sweden: Caring for undocumented immigrants
"We cannot close our eyes to a population that lives among us who are among the most vulnerable in Western Europe."
- Mattias Ohlson, director of MSF's program in Sweden
MSF has organized a network of volunteer health care providers to care for this population. These doctors and midwives provide examinations and treatment from within the country's health care system and refer patients for further care when necessary.
Women constitute the largest patient group seen by this network and many are seeking care for pregnancy and other gynecological concerns. Many of the people treated suffer from serious mental trauma as well. The trauma is linked to deeply troubling experiences in their home countries, hopes and disappointments involved in the asylum process and the extremely stressful situation of hiding from authorities in Sweden.
The project aims to improve access to quality health care. MSF plans to continue its work in Sweden by seeking solutions for individual patients and alerting decision makers to the structural obstacles facing undocumented migrants seeking health care.
MSF has worked in Sweden since 2004.
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