Nursing Care AND Research
The institutional framework regarding the rights of immigrants for access to health services in the European Union
E. Kouli, RN, MSc, Researcher in Center of Health Services Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Nursing, University of Athens
Th. Fouskas, Sociologist, PhD, Panteion University
M. Theodorou, Associate Professor, Open University of Cyprus
E. Velonakis, Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Athens
Scientific Journal, 3 Issues per Year — Period: May – August 2013 — Vol: 33 — Issue: 3 — Pages: 190-200
Published by the Greek Nursing Studies Association (GNSA) — ISSN 22413960
Introduction: Inequalities in health constitute a complicated problem faced particularly by immigrants. However, among the countries of European Union, there is no uniform policy in the management of immigrants regarding their access to health services.
Aim: The present review analyzes the access rights of migrants to health services in European countries.
Methodology: Literature review in the databases Pubmed, Scopus, CINAHL and IATRONET using the following keywords: immigrants/migrants, asylum seekers, rights, access, health services, European Union.
Results: In most countries, asylum seekers and minor children of immigrants are entitled to free access to health services as nationals. In most cases, the undocumented immigrants have limited rights of access to health services and only for urgent problems (e.g. infectious diseases, HIV / AIDS). However, there are countries (e.g. Sweden), where undocumented immigrants are totally excluded from health services.
Conclusion: The access of immigrants to health system affects their use of health services, with results that are reflected in their health status.
Keywords: European Union, immigrants, rights, access, health services