Migrant health in Italy: the right and access to healthcare as an opportunity for integration and inclusion
This paper analyses migrant access to health care through the Italian legal framework and the use of health care services. In both analyses, an underlying gap and critical issues are demonstrated for migrants regarding their knowledge of the health care system as well as the accessibility and use of health services. In particular, immigrants have a lower hospitalisation rate than the native population. However, hospitalisation for some events (i.e., injuries, infectious disease) is higher for migrants than for natives. The results suggest that the health care system is unable to ensure an equitable use of the same services between populations with identical needs (horizontal equity) or accessibility for specific conditions prevalent in the migrant population (vertical equity).Moreover, the main entry point for migrants to the health care system(the maternal pathway and women’s health services)could be the first step for a more comprehensive process of integration and communication. In Italy, the immigrant population is growing and the differences in access to care are demonstrated. Consequently, it is necessary to rethink a possible model of integration and welfare for the migrant population, where access to the healthcare system is not only a desired result but also an opportunity for integration and inclusion.
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