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Austerity and its implications for immigrant health in France


  • Sargent, Carolyn
  • Kotobi, Laurence


The ongoing economic crisis in France increasingly has affected immigrant rights, including access to health care. Consistent with a 2014 League Against Cancer survey, we identify the ways in which sickness produces a “double penalty” for immigrants with serious illness. Immigrants with chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and other debilitating conditions divert vital funds from daily needs to deal with sickness and loss of work while at the same time national austerity measures shred the state's traditional safety net of social services and support. We examine how immigrants strategize to manage financial exigencies, therapeutic itineraries and social relations in the face of these converging pressures. We base our findings on two studies related by this theme: an investigation of health inequalities in the Médoc region, in which 88 women, 44 of North African and Eastern European origin, were interviewed over a three-year period (2010–2013); and a three-year study (2014–2017) of West African immigrant women with breast cancer seeking treatment in the greater Paris region, 70 members of immigrant associations, and clinical personnel in three hospitals.

Suggested Citation

  • Sargent, Carolyn & Kotobi, Laurence, 2017. "Austerity and its implications for immigrant health in France," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 259-267.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:187:y:2017:i:c:p:259-267
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.05.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Saint-Martin, Denis, 2004. "Building the New Managerialist State: Consultants and the Politics of Public Sector Reform in Comparative Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199269068.
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