Published on: November 25, 2020

Approximately 3.2 million Indians from other parts of the country work in Kerala. 2.4 million Keralites work in Gulf countries. A large number of people from Kerala have migrated to western countries.

What happens when a migrant person gets a serious illness, whether or not they are now citizens in the country to which they have emigrated? 

Well, in fact, the impact can be horrendous. 

Sometimes, students or young professionals find themselves practically friendless in a strange hospital in a strange country. Even if they have become citizens of that country, there is a huge cultural gap between their needs and the available services. 

Banse et al write in Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift about the problems of migrants in Germany. The authors point out the importance of studying their migration biography and explain why care should go beyond mere medical expertise. 

Take home lesson for us: When we come across people who have migrated from another state or another country, stop to think: here is a person who needs a bit of special attention. Can we get someone to translate on a daily basis? We should remember that our cultural rights and wrongs may not apply to this person. And the needs could be vastly different.

And above all, not to be judgmental. To meet the person where he/she is, and to try our best!

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