How Refugees and Asylum Seekers Can Access Child Healthcare
When you travel abroad as a refugee, you need to access a quality healthcare facility to ensure your child’s well-being. There are several programs that can help. You can learn about nutrition, immunization, and mental health.
Children from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds are entitled to health care. They must be educated about their rights and receive support to access health services. Nutritional deficiencies are among the most common health concerns among refugee children. Asylum seekers are disadvantaged in terms of access to welfare food, which can affect their overall health. Furthermore, they may be at risk of developing mental illnesses relating to the trauma of their past.
Refugee children are at a high risk for nutritional and growth deficits, and screening is necessary for identification and prevention. Vitamin A and iron deficiencies are particularly common in refugee children. In addition, vitamin D deficiency is common among refugee children, particularly those from Africa. In one study, up to 70% of refugee children from the Middle East had inadequate 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Overweight and underweight children were also common among refugee children.
The United States has implemented robust health coverage benefits for refugees and asylum seekers. The program, known as Medicaid, does not require waiting periods for immigrants, and refugees and asylum seekers are eligible to receive the program immediately. In addition, the government has introduced new programs for these communities, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which helps refugees and asylum seekers obtain health insurance.
According to Eurostat, over half of the refugees and asylum seekers are children. In 2016, there were about 400 thousand children seeking asylum in Europe. Among them, 15.9% were unaccompanied minors. Refugee children have unique healthcare needs. Regular medical follow-ups in their reception countries give health care providers a clearer picture of the children’s health.
Psychosocial problems are often under-recognized, especially among refugees and asylum seekers. The difficulties of access to healthcare may lead to a focus on somatic illness, rather than a child’s overall health. Mental health and psychosocial functioning are linked to each other.
Refugees and asylum seekers face unique challenges in coping with the challenges of a new culture and unfamiliar surroundings. The stressors of the resettlement process and traumatic reasons for leaving the host country increase a child’s risk for mental health problems. Although the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers have long been researched, treatment has lagged behind. Moreover, complex cultural contexts make it difficult to standardize care.
There are several types of psychological problems affecting refugees and asylum seekers, including post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, panic attacks, and adjustment disorder. The prevalence of each of these disorders varies widely, as the experiences of refugees differ across populations. In some cases, rates of PTSD range from ten to forty percent, while major depression can range from four to six percent.
Health entry screenings
Health entry screenings for refugees and asylum seekers are performed to determine whether a person is at risk of developing certain medical conditions. Identifying these conditions is a critical step in the immigration process. In addition to identifying any high-risk conditions, a screening will also determine whether an individual is a candidate for admission.
Health entry screenings for refugees are performed by a licensed health care provider or trained assistants. The health care provider must demonstrate clinical competency, adequate staffing, and fiscal accounting systems. The health care provider must coordinate screening services with a local refugee resettlement agency. The agency must provide services in a culturally sensitive manner.
Health entry screenings for refugees & asylum applicants may be performed for various reasons, including regulatory requirements or considerations of personal or community health. Historically, routine examination of travelers and migrants dates back to the Middle Ages, and these practices were associated with the settlement of Europe.
NHS charging regulations
The NHS charging regulations for refugee and asylum seekers’ children’s healthcare undermine their rights and their health. While the government claims that these regulations will cut down on ‘health tourism’, in reality, they limit access to healthcare for 600,000 undocumented migrants in the UK, including 120,000 children and 65,000 babies born here. These regulations require undocumented migrants to pay 150% of the NHS tariff and share their personal data with the Home Office, which deters people from seeking care from the NHS.
The regulations apply to undocumented migrants and failed asylum seekers. However, some people do not qualify for this exemption and must pay for their secondary care. However, in the case of a child, if the care required is urgent or is deemed ‘immediately necessary’, there is no charge for the child.