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Health care for irregular migrants: Pragmatism across Europe. A qualitative study
Institute of Health and Society IRSS, Université Catholique de Louvain, Clos Chapelle aux Champs 30 B1.30.15, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium.
Institute of Health and Society IRSS, Université Catholique de Louvain, Clos Chapelle aux Champs 30 B1.30.15, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium.
Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, London and the Barts School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London E13 8SP, United Kingdom.
International and Migrant Health, NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), Otterstraat 118-124, 3500, BN Utrecht, Netherlands.
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2012 (English)In: BMC Research Notes, ISSN 1756-0500, E-ISSN 1756-0500, Vol. 5, Art. no. 99- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract. Background: Health services in Europe face the challenge of delivering care to a heterogeneous group of irregular migrants (IM). There is little empirical evidence on how health professionals cope with this challenge. This study explores the experiences of health professionals providing care to IM in three types of health care service across 16 European countries. Results: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health professionals in 144 primary care services, 48 mental health services, and 48 Accident & Emergency departments (total n = 240). Although legal health care entitlement for IM varies across countries, health professionals reported facing similar issues when caring for IM. These issues include access problems, limited communication, and associated legal complications. Differences in the experiences with IM across the three types of services were also explored. Respondents from Accident & Emergency departments reported less of a difference between the care for IM patients and patients in a regular situation than did respondents from primary care and mental health services. Primary care services and mental health services were more concerned with language barriers than Accident & Emergency departments. Notifying the authorities was an uncommon practice, even in countries where health professionals are required to do this. Conclusions: The needs of IM patients and the values of the staff appear to be as important as the national legal framework, with staff in different European countries adopting a similar pragmatic approach to delivering health care to IM. While legislation might help to improve health care for IM, more appropriate organisation and local flexibility are equally important, especially for improving access and care pathways. © 2012 Dauvrin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 5, Art. no. 99- p.
Keyword [en]
Accessibility; Europe; Health services; Irregular migrants; Qualitative method
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
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URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-16731DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-99ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84859195996OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-16731DiVA: diva2:545773
Available from: 2012-08-21 Created: 2012-08-17 Last updated: 2016-10-27Bibliographically approved

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Soares, Joaquim J. F.
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