In the past few years,various efforts have been made to improve the quality of health care and access for immigrants. However, many remain, so there is a clear need to find better and easy to implement solutions to improve Vulnerable Migrants and Refugees Health (VMR)’s health.
MyHealth strives to tackle this issue by developing and implementing models based on the know-how of a European multidisciplinary network.
The main aim of MyHealth is to improve healthcare access of vulnerable immigrants and refugees newly arrived to Europe (less than 4 years) by developing and implementing models of best practice based on the knowledge of a diverse, European multidisciplinary network.
To work towards finding and developing efecctive solutions, he target populations of VMR must be identified and defined. Their situation involve heterogeneous needs, concrete opportunities for intervention. These target groups can be broken into various categorisations:
- In Transit: refugees and asylum seekers, currently representing the highest priority on political and health agendas all across Europe (Greece, Eastern Europe)
- Seeking Asylum: refugees and asylum seekers already arrived in the “preferred” country and in quest of asylum (Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom)
- Settled: the most heterogeneous group refugees and asylum that are settled but still are facing difficulties accessing quality healthcare
MyHealth focuses on the most vulnerable of the groups. There are central questions and issues that all VMR in Europe face, including how to:
- Involve the VMR in healthcare initiatives, and increase awareness of the health systems and features
- Capitalise on a constant aspect of VMR lives, their: mobility
- Generate positive messages on the VMR accessing health resources given the current political and social EU context
- Ensure EU countries and healthcare professionals collaborate in order to define and implement better models for access
- Utilise technologies, especially mobile technologies, in a responsible way, while ensuring confidentiality and legal data protection
MyHealth will enact a series of key measures in order to promote access to healthcare and tackle health inequities. Health systems must not only to improve the services available to VMR, but also address the social determinants of health:
- A multisectoral approach to service provision (involving, for example, coordination between health and social services) is particularly important for VMR who groups often have several interrelated dimensions.
- Participation of VMR groups in the design and delivery of services is essential to reduce the social and cultural distance between services and their users.
The MyHealth consortium believes that through a participative and user-centred approach (Learning Alliance methodology), the interaction and reinforcement of several health disciplines, and the increase in the development of more specific mobile applications and digital tools will be part of the answer. We need to capitalise on the findings of numerous studies and interest in VMR health to adapt and further develop concrete models. In addition to healthcare professionals, social science researchers, migrant entities, public health stakeholders, and technological companies will be involved in the project to answer and develop sound methodologies, tools and adaptable models. Community health agents, entrepreneurs, communication specialists will be called to join, trainers and communication specialists working with our target groups and a special group of multidisciplinary experts will be involved all the way through, and of course migrants will have a central role in the development of the tools and methodologies, as participants but also as very active actors in all the involved partners.
 Carlos Moreno-Leguizamona, Marcela Tovar-Restrepob*, Clara Irazábalb & Christine Lockec. Learning alliance methodology: Contributions and challenges for multicultural planning in health service provision: A case study in Kent, UK. Planning Theory and Practice, Vol.6, Issue 1. 2015