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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


BADANTA-ROMERO, Bárbara; LUCCHETTI, Giancarlo  and  BARRIENTOS-TRIGO, Sergio. Access to healthcare among Chinese immigrants living in Seville, Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2021, vol.35, n.2, pp.145-152.  Epub Nov 29, 2021. ISSN 0213-9111.


To investigate the use of healthcare services and factors associated with accessing them among Chinese immigrants living in Southern Spain.


A mixed methodology was used. A cross-sectional survey was first administered to Chinese immigrants (n=133), and they were asked about their visits to the doctor, use of emergency services, and hospitalization. A phenomenological approach was then used with key informants (n=7). In the interviews, additional information, such as barriers and facilitators to improving accessibility, was explored.


In the previous year, 51% had visited a doctor and 34% had visited an Emergency Department. The main reasons for hospitalization were pregnancy (37.5%) and surgery (25%). At least 20% of the sample reported having never visited a doctor. Language difficulties and time constraints were identified as important barriers to accessibility. Sex differences were found among the reasons for lack of time, which, in men, were related to work (odds ratio [OR]=7.7) and, in women, were related to childcare (OR=12). The majority of Chinese immigrants preferred to use Traditional Chinese Medicine as their first treatment rather than visiting a doctor.


A lower use of health services was found among Chinese immigrants in Spain compared to the native population. When using health services, they choose acute care settings. Communication and waiting times are highlighted as major barriers. Adapting these demands to the healthcare system may help immigrants to trust their healthcare providers, thus increasing their use of health services and improving their treatment.

Keywords : Health services accessibility; Minority group; Public health; Transcultural nursing.

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