In the past month, three foreign national patients were sent back to their countries of origin despite the fact that public health inspection doctors issued statements objecting to this procedure. The CNS supports the principle of access to care for all patients, regardless of their legal status, and the right to residence for care which constitutes an essential measure in effectively fighting the HIV infection epidemic. It has already requested “full and complete application of the regulations” in existence several times in the past.
Article 313-11 point 11 of the French Foreigners Entry and Residence Code provides that a residence permit shall be granted to “a foreigner habitually residing in France whose state of health necessitates medical treatment and care the lack of which could lead to exceptionally serious consequences for the individual in question, provided that the individual cannot in actuality obtain appropriate treatment in his or her country of origin”.
Quite often in their countries of origin, despite the fact that treatment is available, actual access to it and to medical supervision is very far from being a reality. That treatment is available in a country does not necessarily mean that everybody can get it – indeed far from it. Thus in certain countries less than 5% of people who need treatment obtain it.
Therefore, deportation often means that treatment is discontinued and this heightens the risk of selecting resistance mutations which ultimately makes treatment and care more complex and compromises the person’s chances of survival. Furthermore, if the person is able to obtain a particular type of treatment again, there is little chance that it will be the same one, which also poses a problem as regards continuity of treatment – compliance is a fundamental part of HIV treatment and care.
The provision of healthcare to migrants in France thus raises not only the issue of the legislation that is applicable on French soil, but also that of the care that can in actuality be obtained by migrants in their countries of origin.