Migrant Health: Issues, Challenges and Points of Action

I recently arrived from a week-long training program in Colombia. Along the way, both outbound and inbound, I saw many Filipinos in the airports I passed by, which reminded me of a very important aspect of our nation’s health: migrant health.

Migration has always been part of our history as a nation. Even during pre-colonial times, the islands we now call home had been venues for migration of families desirous of better economic opportunities. Now, centuries later, migration has become deeply rooted in our national psyche. Virtually everyone knows a friend or a relative who has migrated to another country. Incidentally, my own family has emigrated to the United States. Migration is an issue that we all have in common.

Inevitably, migration has its risks on health. As is frequently seen on news reports, refugees fleeing war and oppressive socioeconomic conditions in their countries of origin are the most vulnerable to health risks. However, in the Philippine setting, migration often happens within the context of employment and career advancement. Issues such as hospitalization in host countries, insurance coverage, and psychological concerns, affect the health of our fellow Filipinos abroad.

On this Saturday’s tweetchat, let’s talk about migrant health, how these issues affect your practice, and how we can improve the lives of our fellow citizens abroad, and their families left behind at home.

We will answer the following questions:

T1: What health issues involving migrants have you encountered in your field of practice?

T2: In your opinion, do migrants and their families experience a worse state of health? Why?

T3: What policies or guidelines would address the needs of migrants and their families?

See you this Saturday, March 4, at #HealthXPh on Twitter, 9PM PHT/8AM US EST!


Asis M. (2006). The Philippines’ culture of migration. Retrieved from: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/philippines-culture-migration

Orbeta A and Abrigo M. (2009). Philippine international labor migration in the past 30 years: trends and prospects. Retrieved from: http://dirp3.pids.gov.ph/ris/dps/pidsdps0933.pdf