IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A framework for analysing migrant health policies in Europe


  • Mladovsky, Philipa


Evidence suggests migrants experience inequalities in health and access to health care. However, to date there has been little analysis of the policies employed to address these inequalities. This article develops a framework to compare migrant health policies, focusing on England, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. The first issue addressed in the framework is data collection. All four countries collect migrant health data, but many methodological limitations remain. The second issue is targeting of population groups. Countries typically focus either on first generation immigrants or on ethnic minorities, but not both, despite the often divergent needs of the two groups. Another issue is whether specific diseases should take priority in migrant health policy. While communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health and mental health have been targeted, there may be a lack of attention paid to lifestyle related risk factors and preventive care. Fourthly, decisions about the mix of demand and supply-side interventions need to be made and evaluated. Finally, the challenge of implementation is discussed. Although migrant health policy has been elaborated in the four countries, implementation has not necessarily reflected this on the ground. These experiences signal important policy issues and options in the development of migrant health policies in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Mladovsky, Philipa, 2009. "A framework for analysing migrant health policies in Europe," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 55-63, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:93:y:2009:i:1:p:55-63

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolff, Hans & Stalder, Hans & Epiney, Manuella & Walder, Angela & Irion, Olivier & Morabia, Alfredo, 2005. "Health care and illegality: a survey of undocumented pregnant immigrants in Geneva," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(9), pages 2149-2154, May.
    2. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2006. "Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(2), pages 337-360, May.
    3. Holzmann, Robert & Koettl, Johannes & Chernetsky, Taras, 2005. "Portability regimes of pension and health care benefits for international migrants: an analysis of issues and good practices," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 32750, The World Bank.
    4. Krasnik, Allan & Norredam, Marie & Sorensen, Tine Moller & Michaelsen, Jette Joost & Nielsen, Anette Sonne & Keiding, Niels, 2002. "Effect of ethnic background on Danish hospital utilisation patterns," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1207-1211, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dagmar Dzúrová & Petr Winkler & Dušan Drbohlav, 2014. "Immigrants’ Access to Health Insurance: No Equality without Awareness," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 11(7), pages 1-10, July.
    2. Vázquez, María Luisa & Terraza-Núñez, Rebeca & S-Hernández, Silvia & Vargas, Ingrid & Bosch, Lola & González, Andrea & Pequeño, Sandra & Cantos, Raquel & Martínez, Juan Ignacio & López, Luís Andrés, 2013. "Are migrants health policies aimed at improving access to quality healthcare? An analysis of Spanish policies," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 236-246.
    3. Rechel, Bernd & Mladovsky, Philipa & Devillé, Walter, 2012. "Monitoring migrant health in Europe: A narrative review of data collection practices," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 10-16.
    4. Dan Kelleher & Samer Kharroubi & Edel Doherty & Gianluca Baio & Ciaran O’Neill, 2022. "Examining the Association between Polish Migrant Status and Health Preferences Using a Novel Application of a Smaller Design EQ-5D-5L Valuation Study," PharmacoEconomics - Open, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 425-435, May.
    5. Kelleher, Dan & Doherty, Edel & O'Neill, Ciaran, 2022. "Examining the transnational preventive healthcare utilisation of a group of Eastern European migrants living full-time in another European state," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 126(4), pages 318-324.
    6. Escobar-Ballesta, M. & García-Ramírez, M. & De Freitas, C., 2018. "Taking stock of Roma health policies in Spain: Lessons for health governance," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 122(4), pages 444-451.
    7. Leonardo Mammana & Chiara Milani & Paola Bordin & Lorenzo Paglione & Chiara Salvia, 2020. "Health System Response during the European Refugee Crisis: Policy and Practice Analysis in Four Italian Regions," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(15), pages 1-22, July.
    8. Tsitsakis, Christos A. & Karasavvoglou, Anastasios & Tsaridis, Efstathios & Ramantani, Georgia & Florou, Giannoula & Polychronidou, Persefoni & Stamatakis, Stamatios, 2017. "Features of public healthcare services provided to migrant patients in the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region (Greece)," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 329-337.
    9. Vázquez, María-Luisa & Terraza-Núñez, Rebeca & Vargas, Ingrid & Rodríguez, Dolors & Lizana, Tona, 2011. "Health policies for migrant populations in three European countries: England; Italy and Spain," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 70-78, June.
    10. Jelena Arsenijevic & Wim Groot, 2018. "Lifestyle differences between older migrants and non-migrants in 14 European countries using propensity score matching method," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 63(3), pages 337-347, April.
    11. Rezwanul Hasan Rana & Khorshed Alam & Jeff Gow, 2020. "The Impact of Immigration on Public and Out-of-Pocket Health Expenditure in OECD Countries," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 485-508, June.
    12. Cimas, Marta & Gullon, Pedro & Aguilera, Eva & Meyer, Stefan & Freire, José Manuel & Perez-Gomez, Beatriz, 2016. "Healthcare coverage for undocumented migrants in Spain: Regional differences after Royal Decree Law 16/2012," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(4), pages 384-395.
    13. Jack DeWaard & Jasmine Trang Ha & James Raymer & Arkadiusz Wiśniowski, 2017. "Migration from New-Accession Countries and Duration Expectancy in the EU-15: 2002–2008," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 33(1), pages 33-53, February.
    14. Mladovsky, Philipa & Rechel, Bernd & Ingleby, David & McKee, Martin, 2012. "Responding to diversity: An exploratory study of migrant health policies in Europe," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 1-9.
    15. Danny Sheath & Antoine Flahault & Joachim Seybold & Luciano Saso, 2020. "Diverse and Complex Challenges to Migrant and Refugee Mental Health: Reflections of the M8 Alliance Expert Group on Migrant Health," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(10), pages 1-10, May.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kern, Matthias Robert & Heinz, Andreas & Stevens, Gonneke W.J.M. & Walsh, Sophie D. & Willems, Helmut, 2020. "“What's a normal weight?” – Origin and receiving country influences on weight-status assessment among 1.5 and 2nd generation immigrant adolescents in Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 264(C).
    2. Juárez, Sol P. & Hjern, Anders, 2017. "The weight of inequalities: Duration of residence and offspring's birthweight among migrant mothers in Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 81-90.
    3. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola & Nguyen, Hieu M., 2021. "When in America, do as the Americans? The evolution of health behaviors and outcomes across immigrant cohorts," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    4. Osea Giuntella, 2014. "Immigration and Job Disamenities," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(2), pages 20-26, 07.
    5. Maxime Eslier & Catherine Deneux-Tharaux & Priscille Sauvegrain & Thomas Schmitz & Dominique Luton & Laurent Mandelbrot & Candice Estellat & Elie Azria, 2020. "Association between Migrant Women’s Legal Status and Prenatal Care Utilization in the PreCARE Cohort," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(19), pages 1-14, September.
    6. Touma, Fatima & Hummer, Robert A., 2022. "Race/ethnicity, immigrant generation, and physiological dysregulation among U.S. adults entering midlife," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 314(C).
    7. Amelie F. Constant, 2017. "The Healthy Immigrant Paradox and Health Convergence," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(03), pages 20-25, October.
    8. Peter Huber & Doris A. Oberdabernig & Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Anna Raggl, 2015. "Migration in an Ageing Europe: What are the Challenges? WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 79," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 57886, June.
    9. Santosh Jatrana & Ken Richardson & Samba Siva Rao Pasupuleti, 2018. "Investigating the Dynamics of Migration and Health in Australia: A Longitudinal Study," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 34(4), pages 519-565, October.
    10. D’Ambrosio, Anna & Leombruni, Roberto & Razzolini, Tiziano, 2017. "Native-Migrant Differences in Trading Off Wages and Workplace Safety," IZA Discussion Papers 10523, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Tamagno, Edward., 2008. "Strengthening social protection for ASEAN migrant workers through social security agreements," ILO Working Papers 994111973402676, International Labour Organization.
    12. López-Hinojosa, Itzel & Zhang, James & López-Hinojosa, Katherine & Baig, Arshiya A. & Tung, Elizabeth L. & Martinez-Cardoso, Aresha, 2024. "“We have to lie low … that sort of poisons me more and more”: A qualitative study of violent political rhetoric and health implications for Spanish and Chinese speaking immigrants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 341(C).
    13. Bettin, Giulia & Sacchi, Agnese, 2020. "Health spending in Italy: The impact of immigrants," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    14. Simon Jean-Baptiste Combes & Nathalie Simonnot & Fabienne Azzedine & Abdessamad Aznague & Pierre Chauvin, 2019. "Self-Perceived Health among Migrants Seen in Médecins du Monde Free Clinics in Europe: Impact of Length of Stay and Wealth of Country of Origin on Migrants’ Health," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(24), pages 1-14, December.
    15. Jonathan Wadsworth, 2013. "Mustn't Grumble: Immigration, Health and Health Service Use in the UK and Germany," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 34(1), pages 55-82, March.
    16. Amelie F. Constant & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman, 2018. "A “healthy immigrant effect” or a “sick immigrant effect”? Selection and policies matter," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(1), pages 103-121, January.
    17. Ullmann, S. Heidi & Goldman, Noreen & Pebley, Anne R., 2013. "Contextual factors and weight change over time: A comparison between U.S. Hispanics and other population sub-groups," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 40-48.
    18. Silvia Loi & Joonas Pitkänen & Heta Moustgaard & Mikko Myrskylä & Pekka Martikainen, 2019. "Health of immigrant children: the role of immigrant generation, exogamous family setting, and family material and social resources," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2019-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    19. Björn Albin & Katarina Hjelm & Jan Ekberg & Sölve Elmståhl, 2012. "Utilization of In-Hospital Care among Foreign-Born Compared to Native Swedes 1987–1999," Nursing Research and Practice, Hindawi, vol. 2012, pages 1-11, October.
    20. Taha, N. & Messkoub, M. & Siegmann, K.A., 2013. "How portable is social security for migrant workers?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 50162, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:93:y:2009:i:1:p:55-63. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu or the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.