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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


VAZQUEZ NAVARRETE, M. Luisa; TERRAZA NUNEZ, Rebeca; VARGAS LORENZO, Ingrid  and  LIZANA ALCAZO, Tona. Perceived needs of health personnel in the provision of healthcare to the immigrant population. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.5, pp.396-402. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To analyze the needs perceived by health personnel in the provision of healthcare to the immigrant population and to provide suggestions for improvement. Methods: A descriptive, exploratory and phenomenological qualitative study was carried out by means of semi-structured individual interviews and focus groups to a criterion sample of informants: healthcare managers (n=21) and health professionals (n=44) from primary and specialized care. A narrative content analysis was conducted by three analysts, segmented by groups of informants and themes, with mixed generation of categories. Results: The need for support in providing healthcare to the immigrant population strongly emerged in the informants' discourses, with some discrepant voices. On the one hand, translated materials, translation services, and a greater length of time allocated per patient, were required to address communication and information barriers. On the other hand, specific training focusing on cultural aspects and practical tools for immediate implementation were needed to provide adequate care to patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition, changes in the healthcare system, led by the Health Department, were requested to adapt resources to the new situation. Conclusion: The needs identified for support in communication, information and training, as well as changes in the system, reveal the insufficient implementation of the interventions contemplated in the Immigration and Health Plan. In addition, structural and organizational deficiencies were identified that should be addressed by general policies.

Keywords : Immigration; Health; Health personnel needs; Health services; Health care.

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