Arch Hellen Med, 37(Supplement 1), 2020, 42-53
Accessibility and use of health services by immigrants in Greece
P. Galanis,1 D. Kaitelidou,1 P. Sourtzi,2 O. Siskou,1 O. Konstantakopoulou,1 Ch. Economou3
OBJECTIVE The assessment of migrants' access and use of health services in Greece.
METHOD A cross-sectional study was conducted and the study population included 1152 migrants that gave their informed consent. Migrants originated from Albania, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Georgia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt and Moldavia. "Snowball" sampling method was applied and response rate was 60% (=1152/1920). Study questionnaire included demographic characteristics of the migrants, information about health status and information about migrants' access and use of health services. Data analysis was conducted with IBM SPSS 21.0 (Statistical Package for Social Sciences).
RESULTS Mean age of the migrants was 37.6 years and mean duration of stay in Greece was 10.9 years. Albanian and Africans had more often insurance and legal papers. Thirty-six point five percent of the migrants self-estimated their access in public health services worse than Greeks and this percentage was higher for Asians and Africans. Albanian performed more often preventive blood, pressure and cholesterol exams and then migrants from East Europe, Africa and Asia. Twenty-one percent of the migrants had unmet needs. Laboratory exams and visit at private phyisican/dentist were the most frequent unmet needs. The most frequent reasons for the unmet needs were the cost, the lack of insurance, the appointment procedures and the long waiting time. Moreover, 21% of the migrants had unmet pharmaceutical needs with cost to be the most important reason. The most frequent difficulties that migrants faced off at emergency departments and outpatients clinics of the hospitals were complicated bureaucratic procedures, inconsiderateness of health professionals and communication.
CONCLUSIONS Migrants' access in health services and their use is a very important issue worldwide and the minimization of inequalities is necessary, as the results of the present study indicate. Equal access for health services is a prerequisite for migrants' adaptation in host countries.
Key words: Migrants, access, use, health services.