Refugees crisis

The health system’s response characteristics to any refugee crises have special characteristics. Optimal and flexible use of health services is essential in order to meet the needs that arise. Greece has been at the center of such crisis in the last 3 years. The purpose of this study is to record the emergency refugees' transports carried out by the National Center of Emergency Care (“ EKAB”) of Thessaloniki during a 6 months period. In a retrospective study, selected data for the use of emergency care service by the refugees’ camps around Thessaloniki were recorded and analyzed. Parameters included the date, time and location of the incident, patient demographics, callers’ status and incident type. Data on refugee flow in Greece was also included for the same period. Data from 1916 records were analyzed, the majority of which were ages up to 45 years (> 70%). Time distribution of the data displayed increased transport during the first 3 months of the study, followed by a steady decrease. Most of the transports were carried out during the last 3 days of the week. In comparison with the general population, high incident of pediatric cases were recorded. Trauma cases were also high, (35%) - with equally high rates of crime-related injuries. Finally, many ambulance transports were carried out due to delivery or early pregnancy-related problems. Young people and children are the most frequently users of ambulances’ transport from refugee hosting camps. However, due to the complexity of the problem and the dynamic nature of the camps’ population composition, more studies are needed in order to properly evaluate the use of each sector of the health system by refugees.

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