Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Portugal Aims to Focus on Health and Migration

Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Portugal Aims to Focus on Health and Migration

Article excerpt

Portugal, holding the EU Presidency until the end of 2007, wishes to introduce a new health theme: Health and migration in the EU'. On the basis of a conference which will be held from 27 to 28 September in Lisbon, the EU Presidency will submit a report to the Social and Health Council to be held on 5 and 6 December, which will be called on to adopt conclusions on the subject.

"We have an ambitious objective, it is all about mobilising the attention of member states about diseases and the access to health care for migrants and gaining a better understanding of the phenomenon of migration in Europe," was the essence of a message conveyed on 16 July by Portuguese Health Minister Antonio Correia de Campos to the members of the EP's ENVI Committee on Health and Environment.

Applauding these objectives, John Bowis (EPP-ED, United Kingdom) called on Portugal to "see things on an even larger scale," not being restricted by the migratory trend from countries in the south, but also by taking into consideration the impact of opening borders with countries to the east of Europe.

Portugal is seeking to assess health risks such as AIDS or mental health tied to isolation and the situation in which migrants are living.

"This is about a wide-ranging policy," stated Correia de Campos, whose country called on the assistance of the Economic and Social Committee for work directions. "We know very little," the minister added. He is invoking a subject that has been taboo', all the while the EU is confronted with a "totally new situation". …

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