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How are people on the move caring and being cared for?
Ongoing (Actively collecting contributions.)

We need to understand the full scope of how formal and informal social and health care systems are coping with the needs of people on the move. In many EU countries the welfare infrastructure was designed with a relatively stable society in mind. Migrants and refugees, some people claim,  increase both the absolute number of people to care for, and the range of needs to address. This is sometimes framed as a source of "chaos in the system”. It is difficult to say whether this is an accurate description, in part because the situation is politicised and currently the subject of a polemic, infected debate: 

“How does a clinic in Brixton cope with a situation in which you have five hundred people who have just walked to Calais and have broken feet... In addition to the epidemiological situation?”

The other source of difficulty is in how the health care system itself works. Did you know that there is no real definition of health/illness and that health care costs rise also as technology becomes less expensive?  

“Is there a distinction between how e.g. the national health and social care providers (such as the NHS in the UK)  overall is doing (long term) and how it is coping with the refugee situation (short term)? 

“Is it just a question of money, or are/were there already some things that were not working in the system and that can be improved for everyone?”

So we think it makes sense to start the OpenCare conversation by getting a realistic, shared understanding of the state of the art in health and social care provision: both formal and informal. An obvious path towards achieving impact is to find, acknowledge and draw support towards people who already are doing inspiring work:

  • What relevant initiatives are out there that we should know about?
  • How can we engage existing initiatives in telling us about their work and the practical challenges they are facing?
  • In what format that would be immediately useful to practitioners could we make help available?

Another way in which we can see where there is room for improvement is by building a credible understanding of the current situation in our communities.

How you can contribute: 

  1. Ask around and find out about initiatives running grassroots and DIY responses to health and social care needs of people on the move, including but not limited to refugees.
  2. Reach out to your local clinics, refugee reception centres and activist groups caring for the needs of the new arrivals. Try to get answers to the following questions:
    • How many doctors/clinics/hospitals there are in the area?
    • How is the health care being funded: Is it governments paying with taxes? Charities? Are the communities themselves dealing with the problems without outside help?)
    • How do people get to the health care when they need it? distance? cost?
    • How long do they have to wait? 
    • How satisfied are they with the care they receive?
    • How many people need care and are not getting it?


Good for you: When you post you become eligible for the Op3n Fellowship
Good for everyone: Where does this all go? Into the Research phase of Op3nCare.

How to participate: Open a new document and write down what you have learned as a result of asking around. Just let it flow freely, don’t worry about getting it “right” in any way - this is a no judgement space.

When you feel “done”, login to edgeryders.eu and upload your contribution through the “add my story” button below

Register of log in to contribute your story.
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