SIG Migrant Care, International Health and Travel Medicine report

Submitted by Guus Busser, Convener

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Organization and members

During the year 2018 Guus Busser, Principal Lecturer at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, gradually took over the chair of the SIG. As Maria van den Muijsenbergh, the former chair, and Guus are working at the same department their cooperation will continue.

The SIG has steadily grown over the years with a sharp rise this last year. Since May 2018 we have grown from 64 to 151 members and from 18 nations to 32 nations. Members come from all over the World with a good representation from the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, USA, Turkey, Australia and Brazil.

Members are involved in international research, medical (postgraduate) education and health care delivery related to refugees and other migrants. Surprising is the high participation of young family doctor’s, trainees and students. A core group has formed over the years. All involved in teaching and/or research on migrant health and refugee care.

Activity in collaboration with WHO, either regionally or globally

Viviana Martinez Bianchi (WONCA WHO liaison person) is a member of our SIG and our WHO liaison.

At Nijmegen university and at the department of primary care several people collaborate with WHO in the field of public health (Prof Koos van der Velden) and primary care (Pim Assendelft) and patient record registration data processing (Dr Kees van Boven, member WICC (WONCA International Classification committee).

Achievements over the last two years

In 2018 we had a collaboration with Euract and the WONCA WP on Education to exchange and develop educational programs and materials related to culturally sensitive care and immigrants. We exchanged information on curricula and educational materials for GP training. We are seeking opportunities to publish about educational programs on migration.

We continued our collaboration with the WONCA WP on Mental Health. The joint guidance for mental health care and migrants will be finished in 2019.

The European book on migrant care, with contributions of several SIG members, will be published in 2019.

In March 2018, on request of one of our Syrian members, we supported the issuing of a WONCA statement on the dramatic situation in Ghouta, Syria, pleading against destruction of medical facilities and for at least access to medical care.

We have started collaboration with Vasco da Gama’s SIG Migrant Care, International Health & Travel Medicine. In Krakow, during WONCA Europe 2018 we participated in each other’s workshops on migrant care, and discussed further collaboration. We also convened a workshop on migrant healthcare and human trafficking and a workshop on implicit bias with a team from the SIG on Equity.

At the migration conference in Edinburgh, May 2018, we participated in the workshop on international collaboration on migrant care and migration health networks, and the development / implementation of guidelines on migrant care.

Activities planned and in progress in 2019

Improving contact between members

In 2019, our main goal will be to improve the communication and connectivity between our members. We have already a Facebook page, . This proves to be a well-read medium for sending information.

We plan to have a WhatsApp SIG group. Within this group we hope to exchange information and to bring members of the SIG into contact with each other.

We will continue our existing internal WONCA collaborations. We will strive to strengthen the connection and communication with WHO, which will be facilitated by the existing connections with WHO of our SIG and the department of Radboud university. We also continue our collaboration with Euract.

A workshop is planned for WONCA Europe Bratislava 2019, on communication and migrants.