SIG on Migrant Care, Int Health & Travel Medicine annual report

Prof Maria van den Muijsenbergh, convenor, WONCA SIG on Migrant Care, International Health and Travel Medicine writes:

This SIG, founded in 2008, aims to improve the knowledge and skills of general practitioners as well as the organizational and financial conditions to deliver culturally competent, equitable and good quality of primary care to migrants of all kinds: travellers, economic migrants, as well as refugees, including the undocumented. The SIG has steadily grown over the years and now consists of a group of 64 members, from 18 different nations in Australia, South- Africa, USA, South-America, Middle-East and Europe. Members are involved in international research, medical (postgraduate) education and health care delivery related to refugees and other migrants.

In 2018, Guus Busser, GP, international officer and Primary Lecturer at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands will take over as conveor of the SIG as the current convenor has been in place since the start of the SIG in 2008.  Maria, current chair and Guus, future chair, pictured in Rio in 2016.

Activities in 2017 - 2018

1. We continued our collaboration with Euract and WONCA WP on Education to exchange and develop educational programs and materials related to culturally sensitive care for immigrants. We exchanged information on curricula and educational materials for GP training. We are seeking opportunities to publish about educational programs on migration.

2. We continued our collaboration with the WONCA WP for Mental Health. The joint guidance for mental health care and migrants will be finished by autumn 2018.

3. The European book on migrant care with contributions from several SIG members is expected to be published by autumn 2018.

4. In March 2018, at the 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 access to medical care.

5. We started to collaborate with the newly founded Vasco da Gama working party on migrant care. In Krakow, during WONCA Europe 2018 we participated in each other’s workshops on migrant care, and discussed further collaboration.

6. We organized a workshop on migration related violence (human trafficking and other violence and abuse) in Krakow and collaborated with the Health Equity group in the workshop on implicit bias. At the migration conference in Edinburgh, in May 2018, we participated in a workshop on international collaboration on migrant care and migration health networks, and the development/implementation of guidelines on migrant care.

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