The international movement of migrants and refugees leads to demographic change, cultural interaction and epidemiological diversification in reception countries. This poses challenges for the health system: from securing effective and easily accessible primary healthcare in reception centres to the integration of asylum seekers in regular structures of care as asylum seekers find permanent accommodation in regional districts. Health system responses, however, are often characterized by the provision of too many, too few, or inappropriate healthcare services.
Primary care has a particularly important role to play in improving the health system response. However, there are also gaps relating to the access of individuals to specialized services, for example for pregnant women or individuals with mental health issues. At the same time, adequate data to describe the current service provision and plan adequate interventions is missing. There is a need for reliable data covering both the access to healthcare services for this population, as well as the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of current structures.
RESPOND aims to create a basis for decision-making processes that will allow new solutions for the design and organisation of the health services for asylum seekers to be found. It will thus play a vital part in improving the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the health system. The programme has been funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research over a period of five years as part of the funding stream “Building structures in health services research”. The programme is coordinated by the Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, University Hospital Heidelberg, in collaboration with a number of national and international research partners.
Dr.med. Kayvan Bozorgmehr (MD, M.Sc.)
Department of General Practice and Health Services Research
University Hospital Heidelberg