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Challenge anti-migrant policies with evidence, doctors are told

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2266 (Published 22 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2266
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. Edinburgh, UK

Doctors should challenge anti-migrant rhetoric that legitimises harmful government policies that deny migrants access to healthcare and leads to social exclusion, a conference on migrant health has heard.

“We must change public narratives when discourse becomes toxic, using facts and evidence,” said Jacqueline Weekers, director of the migration and health division of the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration.

She was speaking at the first World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race, and Health in Edinburgh, held from 16 to 19 May.

Weekers lamented the “appalling lack of political leadership” on migration, and pointed out that “there is no public health without migrant health.”

Laurence Gruer, honorary professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, also speaking at the conference, said: “Fighting discrimination is an endless task. We must commit to engage in this struggle at …

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