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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


TERRAZA NUNEZ, Rebeca et al. Health policies of national and regional level for the immigrant population in Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.2, pp.115.e1-115.e7. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To analyze the content of health policies for the immigrant population developed by central and regional governments in Spain. Methods: A descriptive comparative study of central and regional healthcare policies for the immigrant population was conducted in Spain through content analysis. The selected regions were Andalusia, Valencia, Madrid and the Basque Country as these regions have specific policies, distinct proportions of immigrants and policy evaluations. National or regional health and immigration plans with health policies for immigrants were selected. Contents analysis was conducted of the following main dimensions: policy principles and objectives, strategies and results' evaluation. Subsequently, strategies were categorized according to the area of intervention. Results: Healthcare policies for the immigrant population are mainly included in national and regional immigration plans. The principles of these policies are based on equal rights to healthcare between the immigrant and native-born populations and the objectives aim to achieve this end. National objectives and actions address access to and adaptation of health services, health promotion, health needs assessment, and health personnel training in cultural competences. Regional policies follow the national guidelines but their actions are more specific. Policy evaluations are highly limited. Conclusions: The content of the health policies, especially national policies, address major issues in meeting immigrants' healthcare needs. However, the absence of assessments, together with persistent problems in the provision of care and inequalities in access, could indicate insufficient implementation and requires careful monitoring.

Keywords : Immigration; Healthcare; Policies; Policy analysis.

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