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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


GOMEZ LUQUE, Adela et al. Imported diseases in Spain: difficulties in health care. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2019, vol.18, n.53, pp.582-607.  Epub Oct 14, 2019. ISSN 1695-6141.


In Spain, from 2000 to 2010, there were measures that promoted equality in health and permitted access to health services for the immigrant population. Because of the economic crisis and the reductions in public expenditure on health, security measures were put in place, which not only had negative consequences for this group, also for public health in general. Therefore, the number of imported diseases cases have increased in direct relation to international travels.


To evaluate the presence of imported diseases in Spain and to know the problem of the immigrant in the Health System.

Method: the literature review of studies in English and Spanish published between 2007 and 2017, including several databases and reports from institutions and scientific organizations.


A total of 173 articles indexed in the databases were obtained. 32 of these articles were adjusted to the inclusion criteria, of which 15 were selected to respond to the objectives. The studies affirm that population movements such as migrations or international trips, increase the presence of imported diseases in Spain. In addition, legislative measures imposed by the government on health matters, complicate access to the Spanish Health System for irregular immigrants. They also highlight other difficulties for the immigrant, such as the language and the lack of knowledge of the correct access and use of health services.


The sum of all the above mentioned, creates lack of confidence in the immigrant, which postpones contact with the health service, and may lead to a serious problem in public health, mainly due to the delay in the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of imported infectious diseases.

Keywords : Immigration; Spain; Nursing Staff; Health Services; Imported Diseases; Communication Barriers.

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