01.09.2010 Five Migrant Friendly Hospitals in Switzerland
Migration and Health. As part of the «Migrant Friendly Hospitals» project, five centres of excellence for migrant friendly medical care are to be developed in Switzerland.
The 2008–2013 National «Migration and Health» Programme continues the Federal Office of Public Health’s efforts to achieve hospital healthcare that is better geared to the migrant population and its specific needs. A second stage of the «Migrant Friendly Hospitals» project is therefore to be implemented. The aim of the pilot project is to develop a number of hospitals located in regions with a large proportion of foreign residents into centres of excellence for the treatment of migrants. The hospitals are to incorporate criteria for optimum care of the migrant population in their quality assurance process. In addition, it is important that the measures envisaged and their evaluation and further application should be sustainable.
The following hospitals and groups of hospitals have been selected by the FOPH on the basis of their funding proposals:
– Basel University Hospital
– Solothurner Spitäler AG & Aarau Cantonal Hospital
– Zurich Pediatric Hospital in conjunction with Basel University Pediatric Hospital and the Eastern Switzerland Pediatric Hospital, St Gallen
– Vaud University Hospitals
– Geneva University Hospitals
Specialist and financial support
A fund endowed with two million francs will provide financial support for these hospitals as they draw up and implement strategies that, for instance, promote their staff’s transcultural skills, optimise the use of professional intercultural translation and improve the quality of treatment for the migrant population. Formulation of the strategies should be completed by the end of March 2011, and implementation is scheduled for the period between June 2011 and June 2013.
Evaluanda, an agency specialising in organisation analyses, counselling and project evaluation, has been mandated by the FOPH to help the participating hospitals draw up migrant-friendly intervention programmes. It is currently holding training workshops for project managers and is also available for coaching as required.
When drawing up their strategies, the hospitals can also obtain guidance from the recommendations of the manual «Diversity and equality of opportunity. Fundamentals for effective action in the microcosm of the health care institution» and from other aids provided by the FOPH, including a list of quality criteria and a guide to self-evaluation.
Positive response from H+
The H+ Hospital group supported the FOPH in its preparations for the second stage of the «Migrant Friendly Hospitals» project. The Group welcomes the fact that the FOPH is launching the new project and offering support. According to H+, «dealing with diversity and equality of opportunity is a management task that has to be implemented in the individual institutions. To ensure quality, it is essential that the patients’ needs be taken seriously. This presupposes, among other things, good linguistic understanding.»
Serge Houmard, National Migration and Health Programme, firstname.lastname@example.org