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Advancing Health Justice

Advancing Health Justice

Health Justice

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Migrant Clinicians Network, Inc. (MCN) works to engage members of our clinical network and all relevant stakeholders to advance health justice for the mobile poor. We believe that migratory status should not be a barrier to care.

Clinicians are called to care for people of all walks of life; in fact, it is their ethical duty. Many migrant clinicians choose their line of work out of a sense of moral responsibility to a population that is often overlooked. We at Migrant Clinicians Network, in representing these clinicians, are tasked to speak up for the health and well-being of mobile underserved populations, who are often voiceless and marginalized -- but whose health matters. We understand that it is a moral imperative to speak out in the face of injustice; it is our ethical duty to serve the underserved.

ClinicianThe mobile poor, who are moving in search of work and a better life, need a voice. When federal policy is being considered, when a pattern of disease of unknown origin appears in underserved populations, when important programs are being undercut, MCN steps in to provide a strong voice for the mobile poor, to ensure that their health needs are heard. To this end, MCN is committed to effectively advancing health justice for the mobile poor.

Our advocacy and education priority is for all people to access high quality, affordable health care and a safe and healthy workplace.  We endeavor to assure the human rights of people as they move, whether moving across borders or within borders.  Advancement in these areas address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes for the mobile poor of this country and around the world. 

We recognize that, every year, there are many advocacy efforts aimed at achieving the very goals to which we at MCN are committed. Each calendar year, our team reviews MCN’s top advocacy priorities for the coming year, to ensure that we dedicate our time and resources to the most urgent, effective, and/or impactful advocacy works. The following outlines MCN’s overarching advocacy priorities. Please see our Advocacy Agenda, which we release annually, for more on this year’s specific advocacy initiatives.

Access to Health Care

Health CareRemoving barriers to health care will enable marginalized mobile populations to access high quality preventive and primary care, and will promote a safe and healthy workforce. Ensuring that migratory populations can access benefits and programs under US health policies will allow them the opportunity to pay for and receive medical care when they need it. We support efforts to: 

  • Extend quality and affordable health coverage through health exchanges and other programs to undocumented immigrants and to those who are in the process of changing their documentation status;
  • Support Medicaid expansion in all states;
  • Support Medicaid portability;
  • Incorporate immigrant and mobile patients in practice transformation initiatives as outlined under the Affordable Care Act;
  • Encourage Patient Centered Medical Homes to address the unique health care needs specific to immigrant and migrant populations;
  • Incorporate “Meaningful Use” as a useful tool to understand and address health disparities and the unique health care needs specific to immigrant and migrant populations;
  • Assure access to health emergency services;
  • Promote safety net services.
Worker Safety and Health

Worker HealthAll workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. We support efforts to:

  • Improve worker protections and strengthen workers’ rights;
  • Improve and strengthen protections that address pay, work hours, workplace health and safety, and workers’ compensation for immigrant and migrant low-wage workers; and,
  • Ensure that immigrant and migrant youth have access to a safe and healthy workplace and are provided with age-appropriate protections.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform

ImmigrationImmigrant workers and their families provide important contributions to US industries and local economies. All workers in the US – including migrant, immigrant, and undocumented populations – have a right to humane treatment, whether on the job, in a health care facility, or while traveling within our borders or across borders. We support:

  • Humane treatment of immigrant, migrant, and undocumented populations being held in detention; specifically, the provision of basic and necessary health care needs that prevent the endangerment and loss of life;
  • A humane, just, and affordable immigration process that provides a pathway to legal status and/or citizenship, that allows immigrants to fully contribute to and participate in the life of our nation;
  • Access to programs and public services that meet basic human needs, including education, nutrition assistance, and the tax credits that benefit working families;
  • Programs across US industries that allow workers to participate in the labor force without fear and with equal protection under the law;
  • The enforcement of existing laws regarding guest workers, and the strengthening of protections for guest workers; and,
  • Efforts to inform the national conversation on immigration by expanding our understanding of the daily realities of immigrants’ lives, including the challenge of accessing health care.

Revised 8/2015