In order to guarantee timely medical assistance where it’s most needed, EMERGENCY started operating Mobile Clinics across Italy. The Clinics operate in areas of extreme social hardship, where access to public healthcare facilities is difficult: farming areas, refugees and migrants reception centres and Roma camps.
The first two Mobile Clinics, EMERGENCY’s Polibuses, were obtained by converting two buses into clinics.
In June 2013, two new Mobile Clinics were added to the fleet: these converted minivans bring medical care to farm labourers working on the tomato and olive harvests. At the request of the provincial health authority, one of our Mobile Clinics began providing healthcare services to migrants living in a former school housing roughly 250 people who landed on the shores of the province. Over the past 3 years, the number of migrants and refugees arriving in the province of Siracusa has tripled to over 170,000 in 2014. Many are unaccompanied minors, the most vulnerable of all. Our staff have started providing assistance in the reception centres of Priolo, Augusta and Caltagirone.
In 2014, we launched two new projects. A lorry has been converted into a new Mobile Clinic, renamed Politruck, and another Mobile Clinic has been fitted up to provide preventive health advice and guidance to sex workers in the Caserta area.
The doctors and nurses in the mobile clinics are accompanied at all times by cultural mediators who receive the patients, inform them of their rights, help them gain access to public health services and, if they have problems with the language, accompany them for specialist examinations and tests at public healthcare facilities.