Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Health care delivery for minor migrants and refugees in EU: gaps in the knowledge and expert...


A- A+
Alt. Display

Conference Abstracts

Health care delivery for minor migrants and refugees in EU: gaps in the knowledge and expertise of health care providers


Alejandro Gil-Salmerón

Polibienestar Research Institute - University of Valencia, ES
X close



Childhood care by its nature requires the integration of nurturing and protective services [1]. Furthermore, a lack of appropriate resources tackling the specific needs of migrants and refugees has put pressure on health care services [2]. In this regard, the European project EUVETCARE qualitatively explores how to strengthen care delivery for child migrants and refugees.


Between April and May of 2019, a total of 99 professionals involved in the health and social care delivery for migrant minors as well as policy-makers participated in fifteen focus groups were carried out in 5 EU countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Germany). FGDs were transcribed verbatim in local languages and transcriptions were analyzed using thematic analysis.


Different gaps in knowledge were reported in the following topics: 1) Awareness and Knowledge of the political, social and health situation by origin country. 2) Cultural competence and social skills, to maximise the sensitivity of health care providers in the service of care to culturally diverse groups. 3) Legal, social, and medical services pertaining to migrants/refugee and how to facilitate the interconnectedness with them.


Provision of health care to children is a right in EU regardless of any condition. However, the findings highlighted that this right may be not guaranteed in terms of quality and equality. Training of healthcare professionals doesn’t lead with psychosocial aspects of migration forgetting the cultural aspects of the minors and their families. Finally, the delivery of health care for minor migrants and refugees requires major intensity from the healthcare services. In this regard, there is a lack of procedures on how to involve other agencies, services and professionals to effectively manage cases of minor migrants and refugees.


Findings suggest that future training for healthcare professionals should guarantee both a holistic understanding of the health of these minors as well as better coordination of professionals and services with an interdisciplinary approach. Consequently, the training of healthcare professionals should target culturally-competent case management strategies for minor migrants and refugees.

Lessons learned

Future training for healthcare professionals will aim to develop culturally competent services achieving improved experiences of minor migrants and refugees by interdisciplinary and coordinated care.


The sample of this study is not representative, which does not permit the extrapolation of results, nevertheless, this study allows to capture commonalities in 5 different European health care systems.


[1] Eastwood, J. Integrating Care for Children, Young People and Their Families. Int J Integr Care, 2018, 18(2): 20.

[2] Puchner, K., Karamagioli, E., Pilouli, A., Tsiamis, C., Kalogeropoulos, A., Kakalou, E. et al. Time to Rethink Refugee and Migrant Health in Europe: Moving from Emergency Response to Integrated and Individualized Health Care Provision for Migrants and Refugees. International Journal of Environ. Res. Public Health. 2018, 15(6):1100.

How to Cite: Gil-Salmerón A. Health care delivery for minor migrants and refugees in EU: gaps in the knowledge and expertise of health care providers. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):52. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2021.


  • PDF (EN)