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Health care access lacking for EU migrants

Published onsdag 10 december 2014 kl 09.25
Platsen på Sveavägen där Titi, Jasar och flera andra rumänska tiggare brukar övernatta.
EU migrants who are sleeping rough in Stockholm. Photo: Randi Mossige-Norheim/Sveriges Radio.

European migrants who are sleeping rough or begging in Sweden have little access to health care here, finds a review by Swedish Radio News of aid workers.

Unlike asylum seekers or paperless migrants from outside the EU, European migrants must have a European health insurance card to qualify for subsidized health care in Sweden.

Without that card, which gives the holder access to state-run health care during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, a person's access is cut off.

Ulrika Falk works at Gothenburg's rescue mission and told Swedish Radio the problem is common.

"The majority of those we meet belong to one of Europe's largest minority (Roma), and don't have access to health insurance in their own homeland. So they have no health insurance card with them," she says.

One recent example involved a pregnant woman in Härnösand municipality who was denied an ultrasound, despite concerns that something was wrong with the baby. She later had to undergo an emergency Cesarean where the child died.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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