Netherlands asylum seekers face poor health care options

Health care options for asylum seekers in the Netherlands were below par last year. The large influx of asylum seekers, more than double that of 2014, caused multiple problems for medical care services, the Healthcare Inspectorate reported on Thursday.

Problems include asylum seekers not receiving a medical intake upon arrival in the Netherlands, TB screenings were not done in a timely manner and children were not quickly started on the national vaccination program.

The Inspectorate already started making suggestions for improvements while the investigation was still ongoing, which means that many problems are largely resolved already. But the Inspectorate still advises that the involved organizations keep better track of asylum seekers' health complaints and improve information provision on where to go for health.

The inspectorate will continue to tract the medical care to asylum seekers this year.

Last year about 58,880 asylum seekers arrived in the Netherlands, more than double compared to 2014. The COA, the central organization for the reception of asylum seekers, increased the number of asylum shelters from 40 to 100.