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The Team
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Lancet Migration briefs

This section was established in December 2003 in Rome.

Due to the world-wide migration, health and health care is more and more confronted with consequences of migration like ethnic differences. Especially in larger denser urban areas medicine and health care services should consider the ethnic variation in their policies. 

In immigrant receiving European countries, due to the migration, incidence and prevalence of health problems vary and health care services have to deal with the ethnic diverse health care consumers. In immigrant donating European countries, especially Eastern European countries, population health profiles alter caused by the outflow of young healthy males. Information on health and health care consequences of migration is fragmented in Europe and difficult to aggregate due to conceptual and methodological difficulties. Not the least caused by the diversity of ethnic groups that settle in different countries. Conceptual issues deal with a.o. defining and identifying ethnic groups and methodological issues like data collection methods. 

Because world-wide migration will continue in the next decades, big challenges for public health professionals arise. Lack of scientific research implies that decisions in public health policy are based on insufficient information. Explanations for ethnic health differences are still underdeveloped and lack empirical support. The fuzzy relation with socio-economic status makes explanations more problematic. Knowledge about feasibility and effectiveness of interventions to tackle these unwanted differences is scarce and not communicated. Best practices need to be identified and spread, especially between countries.


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