Update: 18.07.2008

Medical care for undocumented migrants

Foreigners living in Switzerland without valid residence permit are usually completely shut off from medical care, because of their illegal status. For fear of the police or other officials, they often wait too long before consulting a doctor or a hospital. Over the last years dedicated persons and organisations opened walk-in clinics offering medical services to undocumented migrants. 


The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) opened in June 2007 a health centre for undocumented migrants, as part of their walk-in clinic for victims of torture and war. The service is open to all persons without valid residence permit living in and around Bern. Consultations are confidential, all staff is bound to professional discretion and technical formalities are kept to a minimum. Female undocumented migrants with health problems can also contact the association MeBiF, which offers a similar service. 

  • Nationale Plattform Gesundheitsversorgung für Sans-Papiers
    National platform for health services for undocumented migrants (in German)


The walk-in clinic for undocumented migrants in Zurich is called Meditrina. It was established in January 2006 in a backyard in Kreis 4 in Zurich. The clinic is being managed by the organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Two nurses treat the patients or, if necessary, transfer them to a doctor from the Meditrina network. The patients do not need to make an appointment before coming to surgery.


MSF has opened their first walk-in clinic for undocumented migrants in Fribourg, which is called Frisanté. Today it is run by a private association. 

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