Migrants and Health in Portugal
Health, Culture and Society
The aim of this research is to atain knowledge on immigrant´s health related problems and to identify their dificulties when acesing health care services. The article describes immigrant´s dificulties when acesing health care services that are visiting the health ofice at a National Immigrant Support Centre.Design: : A qualitative study was conducted, analysing available documentation and observing the health isues dealt with at the National Immigrant Support Centre's (CNAI) Health Ofice. The
... 8 cases are mainly immigrants coming from Portuguese speaking African countries for health purposes. Immigrants from Brazil have more restricted aces, and feel discrimination on the part of the services. Immigrants from Eastern Europe come in search of information and have communication dificulties. Obstacles are related to the lack of knowledge of the law, but also to the failure of puting the law into practice. The ofice has had a great demand of users seeking information and in acesingthe health care system.Results: The cases analysed are mainly nationals from Portuguese Speaking African Countries (PSAC), Brazil and countries in Eastern Europe. The majority of the immigrants coming from PSAC are patients receiving treatment under international Cooperation Agreements requesting financial and social support. Immigrants from Brazil have more restricted aces and feel greater discrimination on the part of the services. New Labour Migrants from Eastern Europe, on the other hand, come in search of information and are known to have communication dificulties.Conclusions: Legislation in Portugal provides aces to health care to al citizens, regardles of their legal condition and origin. However, some immigrants have had significant dificulties with aces to Portugal's National Health Service. The obstacles are not only related to the lack of legal knowledge, but also to the failure of puting the law into practice, which requires atention by the institutionresponsible for efective and comprehensive coordination. The ofice has had a great demand of users seeking information, who, above al, wish to solve their problems and dificulties in acesing the health care system.