As one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the Pearl River Delta of South China, Shenzhen attracts millions of migrant workers annually. The objectives of this study were to compare health needs, self-reported health and healthcare utilisation of insured and uninsured migrant workers in Shenzhen, China, where a new health insurance scheme targeting at migrant workers was initiated.
A cross-sectional survey using multi-staged sampling was conducted to collect data from migrant factory workers. Statistical tests included logistic regression analysis were used.
Among 4634 subjects (96.54%) who responded to the survey, 55.11% were uninsured. Disease patterns were similar irrespective of insurance status. The uninsured were more likely to be female, single, younger and less educated unskilled labourers with a lower monthly income compared with the insured. Out of 1136 who reported illness in the previous two weeks, 62.15% did not visit a doctor. Of the 296 who were referred for inpatient care, 48.65% did not attend because of inability to pay. Amongst those who reported sickness, 548 were insured and 588 were uninsured.
Those that were insured, and had easier access to care were more likely to make doctor visits than those who were uninsured.
Health care utilisation patterns differ between insured and uninsured workers and insurance status appears to be a significant factor. The health insurance system is inequitably distributed amongst migrant workers. Younger less educated women who are paid less are more likely to be uninsured and therefore to pay out of pocket for their care. For greater equity this group need to be included in the insurance schemes as they develop.
Objective: Migrant populations are at higher risk for HIV infection. Access to health care and STD treatment is thought to lower this risk. This study aims to examine determinants of STD history and treatment and healthcare behaviours among fishermen in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
Methods: A cross sectional survey of fishermen working on commercial fishing trawlers was conducted in four provinces in Thailand in early 1998.
Results: Of the 818 fishermen interviewed, 30% reported a history of STD, of which 31% reported self treatment of the last STD. 32% reported self care for general health while ashore. In multivariate analyses, a history of STD was significantly more often reported by older men compared with younger men, by owners and skippers compared with lower positions on the boat, and by men who have ever visited female sex workers. Self treatment of the last STD was related to being Burmese compared with being Thai, and to working as a steersman or ship hand compared with as a skipper. Self care for general health while ashore was significantly related to being Burmese or Khmer compared with being Thai, and to being unmarried compared with married.
Conclusion: Burmese migrant fishermen and their needs should be targeted for culturally specific interventions to increase their understanding of STD treatment and improve their access to health care.
Key Words: sexually transmitted diseases; migrants; South East Asia
Migrants from countries with a high-burden of tuberculosis (TB) are at a particular risk of contracting and developing the disease. In Sweden, new immigrants are routinely offered screening for the disease, yet very little is known about their beliefs about the disease which may affect healthcare-seeking behaviours. In this study we assessed recent immigrant students' knowledge of, and attitudes towards TB, and their relationship with the screening process.
Data were collected over a one-year period through a survey questionnaire completed by 268 immigrants consecutively registered at two Swedish-language schools in Umeå, Sweden. Participants originated from 133 different countries and their ages varied between 16-63 years. Descriptive and multivariate logistic regression analyses were then performed.
Though most of them (72%) were screened, knowledge was in general poor with several misconceptions. The average knowledge score was 2.7 ± 1.3 (SD), (maximum = 8). Only 40 (15 %) of the 268 respondents answered at least half of the 51 knowledge items correctly. The average attitude score was 5.1 ± 3.3 (SD) (maximum = 12) which meant that most respondents held negative attitudes towards TB and diseased persons. Up to 67% lacked knowledge about sources of information while 71% requested information in their vernacular. Knowledge level was positively associated with having more than 12 years of education and being informed about TB before moving to Sweden. Attitude was positively associated with years of education and having heard about the Swedish Communicable Disease Act, but was negatively associated with being from the Middle East. Neither knowledge nor attitude were affected by health screening or exposure to TB information after immigration to Sweden.
Though the majority had contact with Swedish health professionals through the screening process, knowledge about tuberculosis among these immigrants was low with several misconceptions and negative attitudes. Information may currently be inaccessible to most of these immigrants due to the language barrier and unfamiliarity with the Swedish healthcare system. If TB education was included as a component of screening programmes, ensuring that it was tailored to educational background, addressed misconceptions and access problems, it could well help improve TB control in these communities.
As in many European countries, undocumented migrants in Denmark have restricted access to healthcare. The aim of this study is to describe and analyse undocumented migrants' experiences of access to healthcare, use of alternative health-seeking strategies; and ER nurses' experiences in encounters with undocumented migrants.
Qualitative design using semi-structured interviews and observations. The participants included ten undocumented South Asian migrants and eight ER nurses.
Undocumented migrants reported difficulties accessing healthcare. The barriers to healthcare were: limited medical rights, arbitrariness in healthcare professionals' attitudes, fear of being reported to the police, poor language skills, lack of network with Danish citizens, lack of knowledge about the healthcare system and lack of knowledge about informal networks of healthcare professionals. These barriers induced alternative health-seeking strategies, such as self-medication, contacting doctors in home countries and borrowing health insurance cards from Danish citizens. ER nurses expressed willingness to treat all patients regardless of their migratory status, but also reported challenges in the encounters with undocumented migrants. The challenges for ER nurses were: language barriers, issues of false identification, insecurities about the correct standard procedures and not always being able to provide appropriate care.
Undocumented migrants face formal and informal barriers to the Danish healthcare system, which lead to alternative health-seeking strategies that may have adverse effects on their health. This study shows the need for policies and guidelines, which in accordance with international human rights law, ensure access to healthcare for undocumented migrants and give clarity to healthcare professionals.
Reliable information on mobility patterns of migrants is a crucial part of the strategy to contain the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites in South-East Asia, and may also be helpful to efforts to address other public health problems for migrants and members of host communities. In order to limit the spread of malarial drug resistance, the malaria prevention and control programme will need to devise strategies to reach cross-border and mobile migrant populations.
The Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) method was used to survey migrant workers from Cambodia and Myanmar, both registered and undocumented, in three Thai provinces on the Thailand-Cambodia border in close proximity to areas with documented artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites. 1,719 participants (828 Cambodian and 891 Myanmar migrants) were recruited. Subpopulations of migrant workers were analysed using the Thailand Ministry of Health classification based on length of residence in Thailand of greater than six months (long-term, or M1) or less than six months (short-term, or M2). Key information collected on the structured questionnaire included patterns of mobility and migration, demographic characteristics, treatment-seeking behaviours, and knowledge, perceptions, and practices about malaria.
Workers from Cambodia came from provinces across Cambodia, and 22% of Cambodian M1 and 72% of Cambodian M2 migrants had been in Cambodia in the last three months. Less than 6% returned with a frequency of greater than once per month. Of migrants from Cambodia, 32% of M1 and 68% of M2 were planning to return, and named provinces across Cambodia as their likely next destinations. Most workers from Myanmar came from Mon state (86%), had never returned to Myanmar (85%), and only 4% stated plans to return.
Information on migratory patterns of migrants from Myanmar and Cambodia along the malaria endemic Thailand-Cambodian border within the artemisinin resistance containment zone will help target health interventions, including treatment follow-up and surveillance.
Population movements along the Thailand-Cambodia border, particularly among highly mobile and hard-to-access migrant groups from Cambodia and Myanmar, are assumed to play a key role in the spread of artemisinin resistance. Data on treatment-seeking behaviours, knowledge and perceptions about malaria, and use of preventive measures is lacking as characteristics of this population prevent them from being represented in routine surveillance and the lack of a sampling frame makes reliable surveys challenging.
A survey of migrant populations from Cambodia and Myanmar was implemented in five selected rural locations in Thailand along the Thai-Cambodian border using respondent driven sampling (RDS) to determine demographic characteristics of the population, migratory patterns, knowledge about malaria, and health-care -seeking behaviours.
The majority of migrants from Myanmar are long-term residents (98%) with no plans to move back to Myanmar, understand spoken Thai (77%) and can therefore benefit from health messages in Thai, have Thai health insurance (99%) and accessed public health services in Thailand (63%) for their last illness. In comparison, the majority of Cambodian migrants are short-term (72%). Of the short-term Cambodian migrants, 92% work in agriculture, 18% speak Thai, 3.4% have Thai health insurance, and the majority returned to Cambodia for treatment (45%), self-treated (11%), or did not seek treatment for their last illness (27%).
Most highly mobile migrants along the Thai-Cambodia border are not accessing health messages or health treatment in Thailand, increasing their risk of malaria and facilitating the spread of potentially resistant Plasmodium falciparum as they return to Cambodia to seek treatment. Reaching out to highly mobile migrants with health messaging they can understand and malaria diagnosis and treatment services they can access is imperative in the effort to contain the spread of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum.
Background. The lack of testing and treatment of Chagas disease (CD), caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, amongst infected immigrants in the USA increases the risk of serious health complications and transmission (congenital or via blood transfusions). Goal. Our goal was to identify the barriers to testing and treatment of CD and understand the process of seeking healthcare amongst Latino immigrants in Georgia. Methods. In this qualitative study, eleven focus group discussions were conducted with 82 Latino immigrants, including migrant farm workers. Grounded theory was used to collect and analyze the data to develop an inductive conceptual framework to explain the context and process of seeking healthcare for CD amongst this at-risk population. Results. Participants were not aware of CD. Three healthcare seeking behaviors were identified: delaying treatment, using traditional remedies, and using either mainstream or alternative health providers. Behaviors and motivations differed by gender, and the use of licensed medical providers was considered a last resort due to the cost of healthcare, loss of earnings while seeking care, and fear of diagnosis with fatal illness. Discussion. Providing free or low cost services, mobile clinics, and education regarding CD is critical to increase testing and treatment of CD in the US.
Inadequate utilization of healthcare services by migrant populations is an important public health concern. Inadequate drug consumption and poor compliance to the therapeutic regimen are common manifestations of low health-care seeking behavior present in migrants even in the countries with well-established healthcare systems. There are few studies on the use of medicines among the different groups of migrants in Germany. The objective of this study is to investigate drug consumption patterns of ethnic German migrants (Aussiedler) and their current health status.
A cross-sectional study nested into a cohort of 18,621 individuals aged 20-70 years who migrated to Germany from the former Soviet Union between 1990 and 2005 was conducted. Data on consumption of drugs, drug handling, major health risk factors, and one-year disease prevalence were obtained for 114 individuals through a self-administered questionnaire and phone interviews. Results were compared to the data on the German population derived from the Disease Analyzer database and Robert Koch Institute (RKI) annual reports. Direct age standardization, test of differences, Chi-square test, and descriptive statistics were applied as appropriate. For drug classification the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) system was used.
Of the respondents, 97% reported to have at least one disease within a 12-month period. The one-year prevalence of asthma (6.9%), hypertension (26.7%), chronic bronchitis (8.6%), and diabetes (4.9%) in migrants was similar to the general German population. 51% regularly took either over-the-counter (OTC) medication or prescription medicines. Six ATC groups were analyzed. The highest drug consumption was reported for the ATC cardiovascular (22%), nervous (9%), and muskulo-skeletal system (8%). 30% used OTC medicines obtained in the country of origin. Difficulties with drug handling were rare. Alcohol consumption did not differ from the German population (p = 0.19 males and 0.27 females), however smoking prevalence was lower (p < 0.01) in both sexes.
Ethnic German migrants seem to differ only slightly from Germans in health status, drug utilization, and disease risk factors, and if so, not in an extreme way. Country of origin remains a source of medicines for a substantial part of migrants. The study is limited by a small sample size and low response rate.
Objectives: To describe health seeking behaviour of female sex workers in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
Methods: A population based survey among a representative sample of 500 female sex workers and six focus group discussions.
Results: The sites of first encounter for care for the last STI episode included a public hospital or health centre (28%), a private clinic (16%), a confidential clinic (13%), a pharmacy (13%), and the informal sector (23%). The agreement between preferred and actual services used was weak (kappa 0.16).
Conclusions: Sex workers expressed interest in seeking STI care in a wide range of public and private healthcare facilities. Those services should be upgraded to better respond to their sexual health needs.
Key Words: sex workers; health care; Africa; Côte d'Ivoire
In Central Europe and in South Africa duodenal ulcer disease has been reported to occur twice as often in migrant workers as in the indigenous population. To investigate the reasons for this phenomenon the joint effect of occupation and nationality on the prevalence of gastric and duodenal ulcer was studied in a survey of 73,000 active members of the German workforce. Non-ulcer dyspepsia and gastric, but not duodenal, ulcer were found more frequently in migrant than in indigenous workers. Manual workers were more prone to develop gastric and duodenal ulcer and non-ulcer dyspepsia than sedentary workers. The seemingly increased prevalence of duodenal ulcer in migrant workers observed by other authors may be due to migrant workers being employed predominantly in manual labour which bears a twofold risk of developing duodenal ulcer.
Nepal is one of the largest suppliers of labour to countries where there is a demand for cheap and low skilled workers. In the recent years the Gulf countries have collectively become the main destinations for international migration. This paper aims to explore the health problems and accidents experienced by a sample of Nepalese migrant in three Gulf countries.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 408 Nepalese migrants who had at least one period of work experience of at least six months in any of three Gulf countries: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Face to face questionnaire interviews were conducted applying a convenience technique to select the study participants.
Nepalese migrants in these Gulf countries were generally young men between 26-35 years of age. Unskilled construction jobs including labourer, scaffolder, plumber and carpenter were the most common jobs. Health problems were widespread and one quarter of study participants reported experiencing injuries or accidents at work within the last 12 months. The rates of health problems and accidents reported were very similar in the three countries. Only one third of the respondents were provided with insurance for health services by their employer. Lack of leave for illness, cost and fear of losing their job were the barriers to accessing health care services. The study found that construction and agricultural workers were more likely to experience accidents at their workplace and health problems than other workers.
The findings suggest important messages for the migration policy makers in Nepal. There is a lack of adequate information for the migrants making them aware of their health risks and rights in relation to health services in the destination countries and we suggest that the government of Nepal should be responsible for providing this information. Employers should provide orientation on possible health risks and appropriate training for preventive measures and all necessary access to health care services to all their workers.
Cross-national comparable data on migrants' use of healthcare services are important to address problems in access to healthcare; to identify high risk groups for prevention efforts; and to evaluate healthcare systems comparatively. Some of the main obstacles limiting analyses of health care utilization are lack of sufficient coverage and availability of reliable and valid healthcare data which includes information allowing for identification of migrants. The objective of this paper was to reveal which registry data on healthcare utilization were available in the EU countries in which migrants can be identified; and to determine to what extent data were comparable between the EU countries.
A questionnaire survey on availability of healthcare utilization registries in which migrants can be identified was carried out among all national statistic agencies and other relevant national health authorities in the 27 EU countries in 2008-9 as part of the Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health Observatory-project (MEHO). The information received was compared with information from a general survey on availability of survey and registry data on migrants conducted by Agency of Public Health, Lazio Region, Italy within the MEHO-project; thus, the information on registries was double-checked to assure accuracy and verification.
Available registry data on healthcare utilization which allow for identification on migrants on a national/regional basis were only reported in 11 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, and Sweden. Data on hospital care, including surgical procedures, were most frequently available whereas only few countries had data on care outside the hospital. Regarding identification of migrants, five countries reported having information on both citizenship and country of birth, one reported availability of information on country of birth, and five countries reported availability of information on citizenship.
Lack of registry data in 16 EU countries, shortage of data on healthcare utilization, and the diversity in the definition of migrant status hampers cross-national comparisons and calls for an urgent establishment of registries, expansion of the existing registry information, and adoption of a common, generally acceptable definition and identification method of migrants across the EU.
Describe the health status and risk indicator trends in a representative sample of US healthcare workers aged 45+ years.
Using pooled data from the 1997–2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), logistic regression analyses were performed to determine if age-group specific morbidity risks differed within occupational subgroups of the healthcare workforce (N=6,509). Health and morbidity trends were examined via complex survey adjusted and weighted Chi-square tests.
Rates of functional limitation and hypertension increased among diagnosing/assessing healthcare workers. The prevalence of hearing impairment, cancer, and hypertension was 2–3x greater in health diagnosing/assessing workers 60+ years versus younger workers. Healthcare service workers were up to 19x more likely to be obese, compared to workers who diagnose/assess health.
Healthier workplaces and targeted interventions are needed to optimize the ability to meet healthcare demands of this aging workforce.
occupational health; healthcare industry; US workers
The Thailand universal health care coverage scheme was instituted in 2001 and The Thailand Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is restructuring its information systems to support this reform. The MOPH anticipates developing computerized health information systems which can provide information for administration tasks and can improve both healthcare delivery and public health services. To achieve these target goals, knowledge about users and organizations is vital. The knowledge of how health center workers currently use information technology (IT), their knowledge of IT, and acceptance of IT are not only beneficial to policy makers but also to system designers and implementers. The primary objective of this study is to learn how health centers in Thailand use IT, the level of basic IT knowledge among their workers, and their acceptance of health IT. We surveyed a random cross sectional sample of 1,607 health centers representing the total of 9,806 in Thailand in 2005. With an 82% response rate, the preliminary results indicate that information technology usage is pervasive in health centers. The respondents showed a moderately high degree of health information technology acceptance with a modest level of basic IT knowledge. There were no differences in degrees of acceptance among the four geographic regions. The mean score of “intention to use IT” was 5.6 on a scale of 7 and the average basic IT knowledge score was 13 out of 20. These results suggests the possibility of project success if the national health center information system projects are developed and implemented
The authors examined the relations between self‐reported work tasks, use of cleaning products and latex glove use with new‐onset asthma among nurses and other healthcare workers in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS II).
In a random population sample of adults from 22 European sites, 332 participants reported working in nursing and other related healthcare jobs during the nine‐year ECRHS II follow‐up period and responded to a supplemental questionnaire about their principal work settings, occupational tasks, products used at work and respiratory symptoms. Poisson regression models with robust error variances were used to compare the risk of new‐onset asthma among healthcare workers with each exposure to that of respondents who reported professional or administrative occupations during the entire follow‐up period (n = 2481).
Twenty (6%) healthcare workers and 131 (5%) members of the referent population reported new‐onset asthma. Compared to the referent group, the authors observed increased risks among hospital technicians (RR 4.63; 95% CI 1.87 to 11.5) and among those using ammonia and/or bleach at work (RR 2.16; 95% CI 1.03 to 4.53).
In the ECRHS II cohort, hospital technicians and other healthcare workers experience increased risks of new‐onset current asthma, possibly due to specific products used at work.
Internal migrant workers are a large population in China. Current health related studies among this population mainly focused on infectious disease, maternal health and occupational diseases and injuries. However, very limited studies were paid attention to mental health of migrant workers though it is an important public health issue.
The current study aims to understand prevalence of depression symptoms and factors associated with depression among Chinese migrant workers using novel methods to develop a comprehensive sample.
Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was employed to recruit the target population, who are required 1) not to hold a hukou indicative of living in central areas or near suburbs of Chengdu city; 2) to be 16 years or older; 3) not to be a student. The Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale (CES-D) was used to measure depression symptoms of migrant workers. And then Structural Equation Model (SEM) was applied to explore factors associated with depression among Chinese migrant workers.
Among 1,180 migrant workers, 23.7% of them had clinically relevant depression symptoms (CES-D score >= 16), and 12.8% were consistent with a clinical diagnosis of depression (CES-D score >= 21). Self-rated economic status, city adaptation status, and self-rated health had negative effects on depression. Social economic status (SES) affected depression, and was mediated by self-rated economic status and self-rated health. City adaptation status was affected by length of residence in the city, satisfaction with one’s job, and the social support that one could obtain while living in the city.
The findings indicated a higher prevalence of depression symptoms among migrant workers comparing to general population reported by previous studies, identified possible factors associated with depression symptoms, and also explored relationships between these factors. Our study provides a model to understand mental health of Chinese internal migrant workers and to generate important research questions for the future.
China; migrant worker; depression; factor; respondent-driven sampling; RDS
There is paucity of published data on the microfilarial infection among migrants from endemic countries entering Kuwait. The primary objectives of this study were to use routine health surveillance data to i) to estimate the prevalence of microfilarial infection in migrant workers to Kuwait and ii) to determine the occurrence of any time trends in the proportions of microfilaria positives among these workers over the recent past.
Monthly aggregates of microfilaria thick slide test results obtained from routine health examinations of migrant workers conducted at the Ports and Border Health Division of Ministry of Health, Kuwait between January 1, 1992 and December 31, 2006, were available for trend analysis of these time series data.
During the study period, the prevalence (per 100,000) of microfilaraemia positive migrant workers was 48 (1169/2449360). A third-order polynomial regression model of monthly proportions of microfilaraemic workers revealed a significant initial increase (βˆ1 = 2.976 (± 0.157); P < 0.001), followed by a significant declining trend (βˆ2 = -0.0358 (± 0.002); P < 0.001) and a slight but significant upward trend (βˆ3 = 0.0001 (± < 0.001); P < 0.001) towards the end of study period.
This study showed a recent steady but apparently asymptotic decline in the prevalence of microfilarial infection in migrant workers from filarial endemic countries to Kuwait. This may reflect either changes in the socio-economic backgrounds of recent migrants or the effects of recently initiated mass drug administration programs carried out in the endemic countries of origin.
No national study has investigated whether immigrant workers are less likely than U.S.-workers to seek medical treatment after occupational injuries and whether the payment source differs between two groups.
Using the 2004–2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data, we estimated the annual incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries per 100 workers. Logistic regression models were fitted to test whether injured immigrant workers were less likely than U.S.-born workers to seek professional medical treatment after occupational injuries. We also estimated the average mean medical expenditures per injured worker during the 2 year MEPS reference period using linear regression analysis, adjusting for gender, age, race, marital status, education, poverty level, and insurance. Types of service and sources of payment were compared between U.S.-born and immigrant workers.
A total of 1,909 injured U.S.-born workers reported 2,176 occupational injury events and 508 injured immigrant workers reported 560 occupational injury events. The annual nonfatal incidence rate per 100 workers was 4.0% (95% CI: 3.8%-4.3%) for U.S.-born workers and 3.0% (95% CI: 2.6%-3.3%) for immigrant workers. Medical treatment was sought after 77.3% (95% CI: 75.1%-79.4%) of the occupational injuries suffered by U.S.-born workers and 75.6% (95% CI: 69.8%-80.7%) of the occupational injuries suffered by immigrant workers. The average medical expenditure per injured worker in the 2 year MEPS reference period was $2357 for the U.S.-born workers and $2,351 for immigrant workers (in 2009 U.S. dollars, P = 0.99). Workers’ compensation paid 57.0% (95% CI: 49.4%-63.6%) of the total expenditures for U.S.-born workers and 43.2% (95% CI: 33.0%-53.7%) for immigrant workers. U.S.-born workers paid 6.7% (95% CI: 5.5%-8.3%) and immigrant workers paid 7.1% (95% CI: 5.2%-9.6%) out-of-pocket.
Immigrant workers had a statistically significant lower incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries than U.S.-born workers. There was no significant difference in seeking medical treatment and in the mean expenditures per injured worker between the two groups. The proportion of total expenditures paid by workers’ compensation was smaller (marginally significant) for immigrant workers than for U.S.-born workers.
Using representative national surveys, this paper compares economic outcomes among Latin American migrants to Spain and the United States in the first cross-national comparison using quantitative data. Considering the geographic location and social proximity of each country with respect to Latin America, we detect a critical selection effect whereby the majority of Latin American migrants to Spain originate in South America from middle class backgrounds, whereas most migrants to the United States are Central Americans of lower class origins. This selection effect accounts for cross-national differences in the probability of employment, occupational attainment, and wages earned. Despite differences in the origins and characteristics of Latino immigrants to each country, demographic and human and social capital factors appear to operate similarly in both places; and when models are estimated separately by legal status, we find that effects are more accentuated for undocumented compared with documented migrants, especially in the United States.
There has been significant growth in the number of healthcare workers born outside the UK or recruited to the UK from countries with a high prevalence of TB, Hepatitis and other blood borne infections. Government policy recognises the need for occupational health procedures to facilitate treatment for these individuals and to reduce the risk of transmission of disease to patients.
The aim of this study was to undertake a survey of nursing and residential homes in South East England, to assess whether homes had occupational health screening policies for healthcare workers who have originated from overseas, and what level of occupational health screening had been undertaken on these employees.
An anonymous survey was sent to all 500 homes in West Sussex assessing occupational health practices for "overseas health care workers", defined as health care workers who had been born outside the UK.
Only one employer (0.8%) reported they had an occupational health screening policy specific for healthcare workers who originate from overseas. Over 80% of homes who had recruited directly had no evidence of screening results for HIV, TB, Hepatitis B and C. The commonest countries of origin for staff were the UK, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and India.
This study suggests that screening of overseas healthcare workers is not routine practice for residential or nursing care homes and requires further input from Primary Care Trust's, Health Care Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection, and Professional bodies.
Most migrant studies have compared health characteristics between migrants and nationals of the host country. We aimed at comparing health characteristics of migrants with nationals from their home country.
Portuguese national health survey (2005-6; 30,173 participants aged 18-75 years) and four national health surveys conducted in Switzerland (2002, 2004, 2007 and 2011, totalling 1,170 Portuguese migrants of the same age range). Self-reported data on length of stay, cardiovascular risk factors, healthcare use and health status were collected.
Resident Portuguese were significantly older and more educated than migrants. Resident Portuguese had a higher mean BMI and prevalence of obesity than migrants. Resident Portuguese also reported more frequently being hypertensive and having their blood pressure screened within the last year. On the contrary, migrant Portuguese were more frequently smokers, had a medical visit in the previous year more frequently and self-rated their health higher than resident Portuguese. After adjustment for age, gender, marital status and education, migrants had a higher likelihood of smoking, of having a medical visit the previous year, and of self-rating their current health as good or very good than resident Portuguese. Compared to Portuguese residents, cholesterol screening in the previous year was more common only among migrants living in Switzerland for more than 17 years.
Portuguese migrants in Switzerland do not differ substantially from resident Portuguese regarding most cardiovascular risk factors. Migrants consider themselves healthier than Portuguese residents and more often had a recent medical visit.
Bangladesh is one of the health workforce crisis countries in the world. In the face of an acute shortage of trained professionals, ensuring healthcare for a population of 150 million remains a major challenge for the nation. To understand the issues related to shortage of health workforce and healthcare provision, this paper investigates the role of various healthcare providers in provision of health services in Chakaria, a remote rural area in Bangladesh.
Data were collected through a survey carried out during February 2007 among 1,000 randomly selected households from 8 unions of Chakaria Upazila. Information on health-seeking behaviour was collected from 1 randomly chosen member of a household from those who fell sick during 14 days preceding the survey.
Around 44% of the villagers suffered from an illness during 14 days preceding the survey and of them 47% sought treatment for their ailment. 65% patients consulted Village Doctors and for 67% patients Village Doctors were the first line of care. Consultation with MBBS doctors was low at 14%. Given the morbidity level observed during the survey it was calculated that 250 physicians would be needed in Chakaria if the patients were to be attended by a qualified physician.
With the current shortage of physicians and level of production in the country it was asserted that it is very unlikely for Bangladesh to have adequate number of physicians in the near future. Thus, making use of existing healthcare providers, such as Village Doctors, could be considered a realistic option in dealing with the prevailing crisis.
Healthcare obtained abroad may conflict with care received in the country of residence. A special concern for immigrants has been raised as they may have stronger links to healthcare services abroad. Our objective was to investigate use of healthcare in a foreign country in Turkish immigrants, their descendants, and ethnic Danes.
The study was based on a nationwide survey in 2007 with 372 Turkish immigrants, 496 descendants, and 1,131 ethnic Danes aged 18–66. Data were linked to registry data on socioeconomic factors. Using logistic regression models, use of doctor, specialist doctor, hospital, dentist in a foreign country as well as medicine from abroad were estimated. Analyses were adjusted for socioeconomic factors and health symptoms.
Overall, 26.6% among Turkish immigrants made use of cross-border healthcare, followed by 19.4% among their descendants to 6.7% among ethnic Danes. Using logistic regression models with ethnic Danes as the reference group, Turkish immigrants were seen to have made increased use of general practitioners, specialist doctors, hospitals, and dentists in a foreign country (odds ratio (OR), 5.20-6.74), while Turkish descendants had made increased use of specialist doctors (OR, 4.97) and borderline statistically significant increased use of hospital (OR, 2.48) and dentist (OR, 2.17) but not general practitioners. For medicine, we found no differences among the men, but women with an immigrant background made considerably greater use, compared with ethnic Danish women. Socioeconomic position and health symptoms had a fairly explanatory effect on the use in the different groups.
Use of cross-border healthcare may have consequences for the continuity of care, including conflicts in the medical treatment, for the patient. Nonetheless, it may be aligned with the patient’s preferences and thereby beneficial for the patient. We need more information about reasons for obtaining cross-border healthcare among immigrants residing in European countries, and the consequences for the patient and the healthcare systems, including the quality of care. The Danish healthcare system needs to be aware of the significant healthcare consumption by immigrants, especially medicine among women, outside Denmark’s borders.
Healthcare utilization; Medicine; Cross-border; Medical tourism; Migrant; Descendant; Continuity of care; Turkey; Denmark; Patient safety
A rapid increase in the population of migrant workers in Korea has brought new challenges regarding the possible effects of acculturation on health. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of acculturation- and work-related psychosocial factors on work-related musculoskeletal disorders among migrant female workers living in Korea.
A cross-sectional survey design was used. A translated, structured questionnaire was administrated to 156 southeastern Asian female full-time workers living in Korea.
About 35% of the participants experienced some type(s) of work-related musculoskeletal disorder(s), which were more prevalent in Vietnamese women than in Thai and Filipino women. Women who preferred to maintain their own heritage and to reject the host country heritage were at risk for work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Acculturation strategy and nationality were found to be significant factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Health professionals need to accommodate acculturation contexts into risk assessment and intervention development for work-related musculoskeletal disorders separately for different nationalities.
Acculturation strategy; Acculturative stress; Work-related psychosocial factors; Work-related musculoskeletal disorders; Migrants
China is facing a significant tuberculosis epidemic among rural-to-urban migrants, which poses a threat to TB control. This study aimed to understand the health seeking behaviour of and health systems responses to migrants and permanent urban residents suffering from chronic cough, in order to identify the factors influencing delays for both groups in receiving a TB diagnosis in urban China.
Combining a prospective cohort study of adult suspect TB patients and a qualitative study, the Piot model was used to analyze the health seeking behaviour of TB suspects among migrants and permanent urban residents, the factors influencing their decision and the responses by general health providers. Methods included a patient survey, focus group discussions with migrants in the general population, qualitative interviews with migrant and permanent resident TB suspects and TB patients as well as key stakeholders related to TB control and the management of migrants.
Sixty eight percent of migrants delayed for more than two weeks before seeking care for symptoms suggestive of TB, compared to 54% of residents (p < 0.01). When they first decided to seek professional care, migrants were 1.5 times more likely than residents to use less expensive, community-level health services. Only 5% were ultimately referred to a TB dispensary. Major reasons for both patient and provider delay included lack of knowledge and mistrust of the TB control programme, lack of knowledge about TB (patients), and profit-seeking behaviour (providers). In the follow up survey, 61% of the migrants and 41% of the residents who still had symptoms gave up continuing to seek professional care, with a statistically significant difference between the two groups (p < 0.05).
Rural-to-urban migrants are more likely than permanent residents to delay in seeking care for symptoms suggestive of TB in urban Chongqing. 'Patient-' and 'provider-' related factors interact to pose barriers to TB diagnosis for migrants, including: low awareness, and poor knowledge among both the general public and TB suspects about TB as a disease and about the TB control programme; low financial capacity to pay for care and diagnostic tests; and inadequate use of diagnostic tests and referral to TB dispensaries by general health providers.