The European Journal of Public Health
Volume 25, Issue 4, 1 August 2015
Access to healthcare for undocumented migrants with communicable diseases in Germany: a quantitative study
Maren Mylius, Andreas Frewer
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckv023 582-586 First published online: 15 March 2015
Migrants without residence permits are de facto excluded from access to healthcare in Germany. There is one exception in relevant legislation: in the case of sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis, the legislator has instructed the local Public Health Authorities to offer free and anonymous counseling, testing and, if necessary, treatment in case of apparent need. Furthermore, recommended vaccinations may be carried out free of charge. This study intends to comprehensively capture the services for undocumented migrants at Public Health Authorities in Germany.
An e-mail survey of all Local Public Health Authorities (n = 384) in Germany was carried out between January and March 2011 using a standardized questionnaire.
One hundred thirty-nine of 384 targeted local Health Authorities completed the questionnaire (36.2%), of which approximately a quarter (n = 34) reported interaction with ‘illegal’ immigrants. Twenty-give authorities (18.4%) gave the indication to carry out treatment. This outpatient treatment option is mostly limited to patients afflicted with sexually transmitted infections with the distinct exception of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
The study highlights the gap between legislation and the reality of restricted access to medical services for undocumented migrants in Germany. It underlines the need of increased financial and human resources in Public Health Authorities and, overall, the simplification of national legislation to assure the right to healthcare.
Severe maternal morbidity associated with maternal birthplace in three high-immigration settings
Marcelo L. Urquia, Richard H. Glazier, Laust Mortensen, Anne-Marie Nybo-Andersen, Rhonda Small, Mary-Ann Davey, Mattias Rööst, Birgitta Essén,
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cku230 620-625 First published online: 13 January 2015
Maternal mortality and morbidity vary substantially worldwide. It is unknown if these geographic differences translate into disparities in severe maternal morbidity among immigrants from various world regions. We assessed disparities in severe maternal morbidity between immigrant women from various world regions giving birth in three high-immigration countries. Methods:
We used population-based delivery data from Victoria; Australia and Ontario, Canada and national data from Denmark, in the most recent 10-year period ending in 2010 available to each participating centre. Each centre provided aggregate data according to standardized definitions of the outcome, maternal regions of birth and covariates for pooled analyses. We used random effects and stratified logistic regression to obtain odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs), adjusted for maternal age, parity and comparability scores.
We retrieved 2,322,907 deliveries in all three receiving countries, of which 479,986 (21%) were to immigrant women. Compared with non-immigrants, only Sub-Saharan African women were consistently at higher risk of severe maternal morbidity in all three receiving countries (pooled adjusted OR: 1.67; 95% CI: 1.43, 1.95). In contrast, both Western and Eastern European immigrants had lower odds (OR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.96 and OR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.49, 0.83, respectively). The most common diagnosis was severe pre-eclampsia followed by uterine rupture, which was more common among Sub-Saharan Africans in all three settings.
Immigrant women from Sub-Saharan Africa have higher rates of severe maternal morbidity. Other immigrant groups had similar or lower rates than the majority locally born populations.