Healthcare Outcasts


of healthcare outcasts living in the EU are foreigners


of healthcare outcasts in France live below the poverty line


They live in extremely precarious conditions — sometimes in the street — and insecurity, severe weather and squalor all contribute to their exclusion. Throughout the world men, women and children are denied medical care because they are not registered with the health system in the country where they live or they are not aware of their rights. But there may also be a shortage of health facilities, or those that do exist, are unable to provide them with appropriate treatment and care.

  • Maria

    Maria was born on the edge of the Colombian Amazon, in Guaviare, where she still lives with her husband and two children. The authorities have abandoned the area which is a stronghold of the FARC (the communist guerrilla at war with the government), Isolated, far from any health centres, Maria and her family live in fear. Maria’s children suffer from rotavirus because they have no access to clean water and the little produce they grow is polluted by toxic substances sprayed on the coca fields.

  • Denisa, 15 ans © Benoît Guenot


    Like some 3,000 other Roma, Denisa lives in a slum just outside Paris in Seine-Saint-Denis. She and her family were forcibly removed several times before they set up in a makeshift camp. They have no stable income, so they cannot get access to social housing, running water or basic commodities. 15-year old Denisa is pregnant but she doesn’t have enough money to consult a gynaecologist. She doesn’t know where or how she’ll give birth.

What we do

Caring for the most vulnerable

In France, Doctors of the World provides assistance to people excluded from the health system in its healthcare and advice clinics. Whether they live on the street or in a slum, whatever their nationality, our teams offer documented and undocumented migrants alike free access to general medicine consultations, referring them when necessary to specialists, psychologists and psychiatrists. Social workers are also on hand to inform them of their entitlements and help them exercise their rights, to health coverage in particular. 


Access to healthcare for all is central to Doctors of the World’s commitment.

Doctors of the World also reaches out to those who do not want or who are unable to go to its centres. Consultations are provided in mobile clinics set up in the street, emergency hostels, squats, slums, etc.

Offering primary healthcare to the most isolated 

Working in a variety of countries in cooperation with local organisations, Doctors of the World also offers basic care to those who are denied access to medical care because of distance, lack of money or political issues. For example, we have set up mobile clinics in the Greek islands and in extremely remote areas of Nepal and Colombia.

Our teams support the displaced — in Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine — and the most remote — in Niger and Somalia.

We aim not only to make medical consultations, immunisation and nutrition screening available to all, but also to provide drugs, screening for infectious diseases, antenatal care and advice on contraceptive methods. To achieve this, we support local health facilities and train health workers to prepare for hand-over once Doctors of the World finishes its work.

A woman living in a slum © Olivier Papegnies
A woman living in a slum © Olivier Papegnies

Intervention location






Middle East

Your support


I make a donation.

Join us

I apply online.


I subscribe to the newsletter.

Global loader