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Full Access Access to Health Care for Illegal Immigrants: A Specific Organisation in France

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Access to Health Care for Illegal Immigrants: A Specific Organisation in France

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Health care is a fundamental human right in Europe, and all Member States recognise everyone’s right to the access to preventive healthcare and to receive medical care in the event of sickness or pregnancy. Nevertheless, this right is focused on citizens and the application to migrants, particularly undocumented migrants, varies widely in the EU. The French legislation is organized with a humanitarian approach. In this article, the authors present the French system of social protection, the “Couverture médicale universelle” or CMU, which provides the same protection to asylum seekers and documented immigrants as to nationals, and the “Aide médicale d’état” or AME, that is open to every person who does not fulfil the legal conditions to obtain the CMU, such as illegal immigrants. Created in 1995, recently access to the AME has been restricted. A claim of discrimination has been rejected by the Conseil d’Etat and 215 000 persons received the AME in 2009. The expenses incurred by the AME increased by 17% in 2010, and there is a debate in Parliament to limit care and to ask the recipient for a financial contribution.

Health care is a fundamental human right in Europe, and all Member States recognise everyone’s right to the access to preventive healthcare and to receive medical care in the event of sickness or pregnancy. Nevertheless, this right is focused on citizens and the application to migrants, particularly undocumented migrants, varies widely in the EU. The French legislation is organized with a humanitarian approach. In this article, the authors present the French system of social protection, the “Couverture médicale universelle” or CMU, which provides the same protection to asylum seekers and documented immigrants as to nationals, and the “Aide médicale d’état” or AME, that is open to every person who does not fulfil the legal conditions to obtain the CMU, such as illegal immigrants. Created in 1995, recently access to the AME has been restricted. A claim of discrimination has been rejected by the Conseil d’Etat and 215 000 persons received the AME in 2009. The expenses incurred by the AME increased by 17% in 2010, and there is a debate in Parliament to limit care and to ask the recipient for a financial contribution.

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/content/journals/10.1163/157180911x551899
2011-01-01
2016-12-05

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