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The medical and social sectors, hand in hand

Friday 26 May 2023

On 24 and 25 May, Caritas Forum brought together the medical and social sectors to discuss the issue of the health, well-being and medical care of people living in precarious conditions.

The first Caritas Forum was held on 24 and 25 May. Caritas Forum is the event that replaces Caritas Luxembourg's Sozialalmanach. For 15 years, this served as an instrument for dialogue with political decision-makers, civil society and the economy. While the form may be different, the aim remains the same: to address a theme from different angles and thus offer a fund of reflections, analyses, experiences and examples from which to draw.

This first edition of the Caritas Forum, entitled "Aarm mécht krank - krank mécht aarm", focused on the links between social inequalities and the risk of illness - links that are more than obvious, as demonstrated by the two internationally renowned experts who spoke at the inaugural conference on 24 May to a full amphitheatre, Prof. Richard Wilkinson, a leading professor of social epidemiology and author of numerous works, and Prof. Gerhard Trabert, a doctor, professor, social worker and author.  

During the one-day symposium on 25 May, representatives from the medical sector, social services, politics and civil society had the opportunity to discuss together, in thematic workshops, the shortcomings that exist in the medical care of disadvantaged people in Luxembourg and how best to remedy them.

The ideas put forward include, for example:

  • Closer collaboration between the medical and social sectors with, for example: the presence in every emergency department of a social worker and medical staff in street ambulatory services, and the development of multidisciplinary proximity care services;
  • more training for medical staff in caring for people in situations of precariousness and exclusion, and more in-service training for social workers;
  • a universal social security system that is truly universal, with fewer conditions, restrictions and stigmatisation;
  • the introduction of individualised support for people who are severely ill, vulnerable or in precarious situations, for example through a "case worker" who accompanies them through the entire support system;
  • easier access to existing aid;
  • statistics to provide a better understanding of needs, so that aid can be adapted accordingly;
  • particular attention to the well-being of children from the moment they are conceived, and more support for parents in their responsibilities, particularly through social cohesion policies adapted to our multicultural society and reconciling work and family life;
  • better coordination between different ministries and between different services.
  • A detailed document will be published shortly.

For Caritas Luxembourg, this first Caritas Forum is a great success.

It was important to bring together the medical and social sectors to discuss these issues, which they are both confronted with on a daily basis in their work, without always being able to provide an adequate response. The participation of more than 250 people shows that there is a real willingness on both sides to work more closely together, for greater coherence and efficiency, but also and above all for the well-being of each and every one of us, and therefore of our society as a whole.


  • To all the speakers 
  • To the many participants 
  • To the moderators, translators and illustrator 
  • to The City of Luxembourg, the Archbishopric of Luxembourg, Lët'z Refashion, OnePlanet Luxembourg, Yo.ko graphics 
  • To the organisers Carole Reckinger and Louise Kelly 
  • And to all those who helped in any way to make this first Caritas Forum a success.


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