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Police turn blind eye to illegal immigrant clinics

A health clinic for illegal immigrants has opened in Aarhus but the police will let the volunteers work in peace


A clinic offering medical treatment for illegal immigrants in Copenhagen (pictured) has become so popular that a new branch has opened in Aarhus (Photo: Red Cross Denmark)

January 21, 2014
14:33

by Andreas Jakobsen


Police won't interfere with the activities of a health clinic for illegal immigrants that opened in Aarhus on December 2, Inspector Jan Andersen of Østjyllands Politi said. 

The clinic allows rejected asylum seekers, prostitutes, and au pair girls living under the radar of the authorities to get medical treatment.

Andersen said that the police will let the clinic work in peace. 

"We are obviously aware of this clinic," Andersen told Berlingske newspaper. "We will patrol the area as we've always done and if we notice something in relation to our investigations, we will stop by. But like the Copenhagen Police we won't just turn up at the clinic if we don't have any suspicions."

READ MORE: One year on, health clinic for illegal immigrants proves popular

Since the Red Cross in Denmark, the Danish Refugee Council and the Danish Medical Association launched the first such clinic in Copenhagen in 2011, it has had approximately 4,000 visitors. The increasing demand led to the opening of a branch in Aarhus.

DF: Clinic is deplorable
Jette Skive (DF), a member of Aarhus Council's health committee, doesn't want that kind of support for illegal immigrants.

"That clinic is shocking and deplorable, because these people are in our country and city illegally," Skive told Berlingske. 

Health Minister Astrid Krag (SF), however, supports the clinics in both Aarhus and Copenhagen.

"I'm positive towards the idea of having clinics offering extra care for people without residency," she told Berlingske. "From what I'm told, the staff is doing a great job." 

The clinics in Copenhagen and Aarhus are privately funded and rely on volunteer work. In Copenhagen, 200 volunteers work at the facility while 60 doctors and medical students have volunteered in Aarhus.

Helps immigrants with chronic diseases
Undocumented migrants in Copenhagen can only seek medical help through the public system without the risk of being turned over to the police if their condition is considered ‘acute’.

READ MORE: Health clinics for illegal immigrants to open

This leaves many who suffer from chronic and less critical illnesses without anywhere to seek medical attention and it is these people that the clinic set out to help.

According to the Red Cross in Denmark, the four most common reasons for attending the clinic are broken limbs, pregnancy, skin diseases and teeth problems. Patients with more severe illnesses, such as leukaemia, heart problems or tuberculosis are sent on to specialists.



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