Public policies on health and migrants in Chile

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IOM Chile joined the Social Health Studies Programme of the German Clinic School of Medicine at the University of Development (FM CAS-UDD) in Santiago to launch a new book: “International Migration as a Social Determinant of Health in Chile: Evidence and Public Policy Proposals”.

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Chile currently has the highest rate of migrant residents recorded since 1950 (2.7 percent of the population in 2014) but scant empirical evidence is available regarding the health of international migrants in the country. The book offers multi-disciplinary perspectives on the issue, with the objective of serving as a tool to ensure efficient use of health sector resources.

The book involved the participation of 15 institutions and a total of 31 authors. Along with IOM Chile, the Foreigners and Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, the Jesuit Service for Migrants, and the Chilean Catholic Institute for Migration also collaborated.

The book includes case studies from nine cities with large migrant populations: Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Calama, Maipú, Santiago, Independencia, Recoleta, and Quilicura. In the latter five, which pertain to the Metropolitan Region, IOM Chile has been implementing its Migrants and Cities Programme since 2014.

The publication is part of a project undertaken by the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT), and was edited by Báltica Cabieses, Research Coordinator for the FM CAS-UDD Nursing Programme, Margarita Bernales, Co-Coordinator, and Ana María McIntyre, Senior Researcher.

The essential concepts that served as a framework for the studies compiled in the book include human rights, social determinants of health, cultural identity and diversity, cultural competence related to health, social inclusion, social participation, and a health-centred focus for policy-making purposes.

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