Understanding access to professional healthcare among asylum seekers facing gender-based violence: a qualitative study from a stakeholder perspective

Rodella Sapia, Mirjam D. and Wangmo, Tenzin and Dagron, Stéphanie and Elger, Bernice S.. (2020) Understanding access to professional healthcare among asylum seekers facing gender-based violence: a qualitative study from a stakeholder perspective. BMC international health and human rights, 20 (1). p. 25.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/78816/

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When it comes to gender-based violence (GBV), migrant women and girls represent the most vulnerable group. GBV can happen at any stage of migrants' flight and/or during the asylum process. It has severe consequences on their life and health. Victims therefore need timely access to healthcare. This study explores the context GBV victims face when they seek refuge in Switzerland.; Qualitative methodology was used where we conducted five semi-structured focus groups and three interviews. A total of sixteen stakeholders participated in the study. They were either involved in the asylum process or provided healthcare to asylum seekers. We analyzed the data using framework analysis.; Study participants noted lack of confidence of the GBV victims in the legal and in the healthcare systems as major barriers to disclosure of GBV. Since only GBV exerted before fleeing the home country gives the right to asylum, they pointed out that victims do not disclose GBV that took place after they left their home country. Language was identified as a barrier to disclosure of GBV as well as to healthcare access. Continuity of care at the moment of transfer from federal to cantonal (i.e. state) accommodations is another issue that was deemed critical. Study participants felt that health professionals must be trained to identify GBV victims. The first-contact caregiver available to these victims was deemed as the most competent professional that could act as a "GBV coordinator".; In Switzerland, access to healthcare is guaranteed to all asylum seekers on a legal and structural level. Yet, health seeking by GBV survivors is hindered by factors such as lack of confidence in the legal system, trust in health providers, and continuity of care during the asylum process. Building trust in legal institutions, health structures, and professionals should be enhanced to facilitate disclosure and to strengthen resilience. This includes a healthcare system with competent professionals, support with language and cultural needs, as well as seamless continuity of care beyond cantonal borders.
Faculties and Departments:08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Ethik > Institut für Bio- und Medizinethik > Bio- und Medizinethik (Elger)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Ethik in der Medizin > Bio- und Medizinethik (Elger)
UniBasel Contributors:Wangmo, Tenzin and Elger, Bernice Simone
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:05 Jan 2021 12:25
Deposited On:23 Dec 2020 11:16

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