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Arch Hellen Med, 39(3), May-June 2023, 419-425


The access of migrants to healthcare services

P. Galanis,1 O. Siskou,2 O. Konstantakopoulou,2,3 G. Angelopoulos,2 A. Fanou,3 D. Kaitelidou2,3
1Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
2Center for Health Services Management and Evaluation, Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
3Organisation for Quality Assurance in Health, Athens, Greece

Inequalities in access to health services are a complex and long-standing issue with significant social implications. Migrants are a vulnerable group and their adaptation in the host country is crucial to the improvement of their quality of life and to protecting public health. Limited access to health services and the poor quality of health care they receive have a significant negative impact on the health of migrants. Greater problems in accessing health services are faced by elderly migrants, migrants who have been residing less time in the host country, migrants with lower income and migrants without insurance. The limited access of migrants to primary healthcare services further exacerbates the problem. Migrants and their children are less often insured, and they use health services less frequently than the native population. Major problems in the provision of health care in a multicultural environment are language, cultural differences, lack of trust, lack of continuity of care and lack of knowledge. Ignorance of the language of the host country is a major barrier to the use health of services, since it makes telephone communication difficult and increases waiting times. Ignorance of the language makes it even more difficult for migrants to use mental health services. A systematic effort is needed on all sides to ensure that migrants can adapt effectively to living conditions in the host country, and to ensure them equal access to health services.

Key words: Access, Healthcare services, Migrants, Use.

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