Ukrainian refugees and migrants’ access to healthcare services in Tuscany
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Department of Health Science, University of Florence, Florence, Tuscany, Italy Italy
Health, Welfare and Social Cohesion Directorate, Region of Tuscany, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1700
Background and objective:
Russian military invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has produced the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. More than 14 million people have been forced to flee their homes seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Our aim is to assess the impact of migration on Tuscan healthcare system with a comparison of the number of accesses to three different healthcare settings in 2022 with data from the same period in 2021.

Data were collected from the Tuscan health registry “Digital Health and Innovation”, period 01/03/2022-30/09/2022 and 01/03/2021-30/09/2021 and include administrative data, hospitalizations, emergency room accesses and outpatient care for citizens born in Ukraine.

From 01/03/2022 to 30/09/2022 17399 Ukrainian refugees registered in the health registry using the STP code “Temporarily Present Foreigner” (9232) or CF “Tax Code” (8167) to obtain access to healthcare services. There were 891 hospitalisations, 61% more than in the same period in 2021. Discharges were mainly from obstetrics (7,30%), orthopaedics (6,74%), oncology (5,83%), gastroenterology (4,02%), and cardiology (3,17%) departments. There were 2964 admissions to the Emergency Room (ER, 2013 women and 951 men), 445% more than in 2021. Accesses of the 0-14 age group in 2022 increased fivefold. 66% of the people who accessed to the ER in 2022 were in the 15-64 age group. Outpatient care increased by 50% compared to 2021 for a total of 92908 visits.

Healthcare is a fundamental human right for people all over the world. Everyone, including refugees and migrants, has the right to access health services whenever they need them. European countries should be equipped with strong healthcare systems to cope with emergencies. Knowing refugees’ experiences in host countries is important to design the best hospital and primary healthcare organisation.

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