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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


FUERTES, C. et al. Attention to diversity in emergency care. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2010, vol.33, suppl.1, pp.149-161. ISSN 1137-6627.

The immigrant population in general uses the health services less frequently than the native population. No significant differences are found between immigrants and natives in the use of emergency services. However, the perception of professionals who attend to the emergency services is that there is a greater use of these services by the immigrant population. Perhaps this is because difficulties of language and cultural understanding might require more effort and time in the care given to the immigrant patient. The doctor, who treats the immigrant population, as well as tourists and Spanish overseas voluntary workers, must become familiar with a series of pathologies, some of which might be exceptional among the native Spanish population, but which are endemic on some of the countries of origin of the immigrant population, frequently due to their lower socio-economic development. Some aspects to bear in mind in treating the immigrant patient might be as follows: avoiding the risk of minimising psychic complaints and explaining them away to uprootedness; if a diet or medicine is to be prescribed, the type of food and religious beliefs of the patient's country should be taken into account. The level of respect and the capacity to detect religious and cultural differences in relation to health care are fundamental tasks that the health professionals must assume with the greatest commitment in order to achieve care that is culturally appropriate in the face of diversity.

Palabras clave : Emergency care; Immigration; Multiculturality; Imported diseases; Tropical diseases.

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