203397 Documented and undocumented immigrant men's potential access to health care

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Claudia S. Coggin, PhD, CHES , School of Public Health, Dept of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Ft Worth, TX
Khiya Marshall, DrPH , Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of North Texas School of Public Health, Fort Worth, TX
Guadalupe Munguia, MD, MPH , School of Public Health, Dept of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Ximena Urrutia-Rojas, DrPH , Management Policy and Community Health, University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio, TX
In 2008, 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the U.S., representing 4% of the population; about evenly divided between males and females. Unauthorized immigrants inflow fell from 800,000 to 500,000/year from 2005 to 2008. By contrast, the inflow of legal permanent residents has been relatively steady this decade. Mexico remains the birth country of most unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. Immigrant status is associated with reduced access to health care, especially for the undocumented due to their vulnerable situation, which is aggravated by language barriers and legal issues. The study analyzed indicators of potential access to health care of documented and undocumented Mexican immigrant males. Predisposing, enabling, and need characteristics were used as predictors of access and utilization. A total of 122 Mexican immigrant males participated in the study; over one half undocumented. Undocumented respondent's potential access to health care was lower, and despite relatively high rates of employment, most men reported incomes below the poverty level. Extremely low income, ack of health insurance and regular source of care, and negligible rates of health check-ups, indicate that the majority of immigrants in this study face insurmountable barriers to obtaining health care. In Texas, this situation is aggravated by legal restrictions of health care for undocumented uninsured immigrants and the prospect of reporting them to law enforcement authorities. Policies that ensure open access to health and social services and coordination of health care services across borders are essential to protect the health of this vulnerable male population.

Learning Objectives:
Describe Predisposing, Enabling, and Need characteristics of immigrant men that are consider predictors of access to health care and utilization of services. Identify the barriers that immigrant man face when needing health care. Discuss legal and public health challenges of communities regarding immigrant populations.

Keywords: Access and Services, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Claudia S. Coggin, PhD, CHES. Assistant Professor. University of North TX Health Science Center School of Public Health. Is part of the team that did carry out the research project to be presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.