Facilitating access to health care and cooperation among reception authorities and health care stakeholders jumped to the top of priorities in reception in 2020.
A new health care project was set up in Croatia with AMIF funding, in cooperation with Médecins du Monde, to tackle the needs of applicants who have been in transit in Bosnia and Herzegovina and who suffer from chronic illnesses or are disabled. The national authorities in Croatia concluded standard operating procedures on sexual and gender-based violence with UNHCR and national NGOs towards the end of 2020, aiming to start implementation as soon as possible. Médecins sans Frontières in Belgium provided psychological support for applicants after the earthquakes.634
In Greece, the National Organisation of Public Health launched a vaccination campaign with 3,000 doses of measles-mumps (MMR) vaccine at the Reception and Identification Centre in Moria, Lesvos. Similar vaccination campaigns were planned in Leros and Kos. Vaccinations were foreseen in 14 accommodation centres on mainland Greece for more than 4,000 children.635 In addition, to facilitate access to health care, the Ministry of Migration and Asylum announced that all asylum applicants were to be issued temporary insurance and a health number. Nonetheless, the Network for Children’s Rights observed that practical issues to access medical care persisted.636 A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and the Hellenic Red Cross for support with the provision of material reception conditions, including health services and psychological support.
The Cyprus Refugee Council observed that administrative requirements had been improved, as the Ministry of Health ensures access to health care for all applicants, without requiring a welfare dependency report proving the lack of sufficient means.637
The new, general medical screening protocol in Finland – developed through the AMIF-funded TERTTU project – was launched and started to be implemented in 2020.
The General Directorate for Foreigners in France launched a telephone support centre for employees of the local orientation platforms (SPADA) and reception centres.638 The pandemic contributed to strengthening the ties between reception facilities and regional health agencies. In short term, this was beneficial to contain the spread of COVID-19, while in the long term, these partnerships aim to improve health care orientation and facilitate access to health care in general.
A tender was launched for new medical services for applicants in Latvia, while in Malta, a new medical centre opened in the Ħal Far reception facility to better contain the pandemic.
 AIDA Croatia. (2021). Country Report: Croatia - 2020 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by Croatian Law Centre. https://asylumineurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/AIDA-HR_2020update.pdf
 Migration Greece Info | Facebook. (2020, July 23). Vaccination action was started today by the National Organization of Public Health Εθνικός Οργανισμός Δημόσιας Υγείας with 3,000 doses of measles-mumps (MMR) vaccine at the Reception and Identification Center in Moria, Lesvos. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/migrationgovgr.info/posts/1681402985347133
 Network for Children's Rights | Δίκτυο για τα Δικαιώματα του Παιδιού. (2021). Input to the EASO Asylum Report 2021. https://easo.europa.eu/sites/default/files/Network-for-Childrens-Rights.pdf
 AIDA Cyprus. (2021). Country Report: Cyprus - 2020 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by Cyprus Refugee Council. https://asylumineurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/AIDA-CY_2020update.pdf
 European Web Site on Integration. (2021, February 12). France: Plateforme téléphonique d’écoute et de soutien à destination des personnels accompagnant les demandeurs d’asile et les réfugiés [France: Telephone platform for listening and supporting staff accompanying asylum seekers and refugees]. https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/news/france-plateforme-telephonique-decoute-et-de-soutien-a-destination-des-personnels-accompagnant-les-demandeurs-dasile-et-les-refugies?lang=en