How do refugees treat Sweden

Undocumented immigrants : Sweden grants illegal rights to health care

After a long service, human rights organizations in Sweden are successful in the fight to improve the position of the many illegal immigrants living in the country. From July 1, 2013, people without a valid residence permit will also have the general right to largely free health care in Sweden. Your children will be treated the same as Swedish. The only restriction for adults, which also applies to EU foreigners, is preventive treatment that is not urgently required. You are still to be paid out of pocket. The changes should apply both to refugees who went into hiding after a deportation notice and to those who are not even registered.

Human rights organizations in the country hope that the generally generous granting of health care law is the first, essential step on the way to the principle of recognition of illegal refugees in Sweden. The author of this law is the right-wing conservative government, supported by the opposition Greens.

The youth organization of the largest conservative party Moderaterna of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has long been calling for something that in Germany seems to be reserved for left-wing parties: “Open borders for everyone”. The right-wing liberal Swedish conservatives have something against any kind of regulation, while traditionally the left-wing parties want to regulate immigration in order to protect the poor in the country from cheap competition on the labor market. On the other hand, they advocate right-wing liberals precisely because, among other things, they give employers more opportunities to pay wages below what is required by the trade unions.

The Christian Democratic Minister of Social Affairs Göran Hägglund justified the step with human rights aspects: "Hidden and paperless refugees must also have the legal right to subsidized health care," said Hägglund. Nursing staff is currently facing an ethical dilemma. Her oath already obliges her to help all people who are sick. Åsa Romson of the very moderate Swedish Greens only complained that the law did not go far enough. But it is a start: "It is a very important first step."

The right-wing populist Sweden Democrats, on the other hand, demanded that illegal refugees should be removed from the country. After all, the law requires this. It is misleading if people are not allowed to stay in Sweden but are given health insurance.

Immigration law against human rights - in Germany too, the debate about the rights of so-called illegals that has been going on for years has repeatedly stuck at this point. On the one hand, the right of access to health care is a fundamental right that must not be restricted by national regulations. On the other hand, people who live here without papers cannot make use of it without putting themselves in danger of being deported. So far, this has prevented nationwide, even nationwide, solutions to the problem. There are approaches at the municipal level or semi-privately by committed medical professionals. In Munich, for example, there has been a municipal fund that bears the health costs of illegals for more than ten years. The anonymous health insurance scheme recently failed in Berlin, but a round table continues to meet to develop proposals for a solution to the problem. One means of alleviating the rigors of the duty to disclose data is often the duty of health authorities to take action against threats to general health. People who cannot be treated for tuberculosis or AIDS, for example, are - regardless of their right of residence - also a danger to others. Johannes Knickenberg from the “Catholic Forum Living in Illegality” therefore has hope: “When it comes to health, a lot has been going on at the local level in recent years.”

In Sweden, political calculations probably also contributed to the government's decision. The cooperation on migration issues between black and green came about after the 2010 elections because the bourgeois minority government wanted to show that it was immune to the influence of the right-wing Sweden Democrats who were elected to parliament for the first time. André Anwar / Andrea Dernbach

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