Assessing the Health of Persons Experiencing Forced Migration: Current Practices for Health Service Organisations

  • Dominik ZennerEmail author
  • Kolitha Wickramage
  • Ursula Trummer
  • Kevin Pottie
  • Chuck Hui


This chapter looks at the current evidence and practice of health assessments amongst persons, who experienced forced migration, including asylum seekers and refugees. It places health assessments into its historical context and outlines national and international frameworks relevant to these. The main body of the chapter reviews the current practice in health assessments alongside the policy framework and evidence and provides specific examples from countries. Doing so, it also outlines some of the ethical questions and elaborates on issues around healthcare access in the receiving state, and it delineates, where room for improvement remains, particularly around linkage to care. Finally, the chapter demonstrates that significant gaps remain regarding research evidence, including assessment of cost and benefits of health assessments in different contexts.


Health assessments Screening Migrant Asylum seeker Refugee Infectious diseases Healthcare access 



World Health Organization


Migration Policy Index


International Organization for Migration


European Union


European Economic Area


United Nations General Assembly


Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration


World Health Assembly


UN High Commissioner for Refugees


Common European Asylum System


European Commission


Cost-effectiveness analysis


General Data Protection Regulation (EU)


General Practitioner


Health information system



We would like to express our special thanks to Prof. Michael Knipper, University of Giessen, Germany, for his helpful review and suggestions towards this manuscript.


The opinions expressed in this book chapter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the articles do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of IOM concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominik Zenner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kolitha Wickramage
    • 2
  • Ursula Trummer
    • 3
  • Kevin Pottie
    • 4
  • Chuck Hui
    • 5
  1. 1.International Organization for MigrationBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.International Organization for MigrationManilaPhilippines
  3. 3.Center for Health and MigrationViennaAustria
  4. 4.Bruyere Research Institute, University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  5. 5.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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