Mexican Immigrants in the US Living Far from the Border may Return to Mexico for Health Services

ArticleinJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health 12(4):610-4 · January 2009with46 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s10903-008-9213-8 · Source: PubMed
This study explores to what extent and why Mexican immigrants in the U.S. living far from the border return to Mexico for medical services. Structured Spanish-language qualitative interviews were completed with a crosssectional sample of 10 Central Mexican immigrants living in Northern California and with 10 physicians and 25 former immigrants living in Central Mexico. Sixteen of the 35 current and former immigrants (46%) said they or a close friend or relative had returned to Mexico from the U.S. for health-related reasons. Participants returned to Mexico for care due to unsuccessful treatment in the U.S., the difficulty of accessing care in the U.S. and preference for Mexican care. Obtaining care in Mexico appears to be common. These findings have implications for the maintenance of continuity of care, for Mexico's healthcare system, and for the impact of changing border policies on immigrant health.
    • "First, social and historical connectedness to a native country can affect people's health-care travel destination plans (Eyles & Williams, 2008). Second, communicating with physicians and health-care personnel in their native tongue in the origin country is often an appealing factor (Bergmark, Barr & Garcia, 2008; Bookman & Bookman, 2007 ). For example, cultural proximity and health-care system familiarity have been found to tilt the decision of Mexicans in the United States, Indians and Middle Easterners worldwide, Koreans in New Zealand, and British people living in Spain in favour of their native country (Connell, 2013; La Parra & Mateo, 2008; Lee et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study analyses the relationships between the origin countries of international patients and their cultural distance from the destination country in the context of medical tourism. A novel panel dataset is used, covering 109 origin countries whose citizens came to Turkey and received medical treatment during 2012–2014. After accounting for control variables such as religious similarity, Turkish diaspora in the origin country, physical distance, GDP per capita and number of inbound tourists, the study finds that cultural distance has an impact on the choice of destination for medical tourism. This impact persists at the medical specialty level.
    Article · Mar 2016
    • "include, for example, non-availability of goods or services in either the new or old 'home', lower prices, or in the case of return trips, a cultural affinity and trust with a familiar consumption context (Lee et al., 2010). Accessing amenities such as medical or dental services (ibid; Bergmark et al., 2010), hairdressing and other personal services is largely attributed to the relative trust attached to providers of such services, as well as cost considerations, eligibility where relevant, and possible lack of fluency in a host language. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increasing number of people leading more mobile lives, with spatially dispersed families, raises questions over how they maintain their family life and friendships and how this is shaped and shapes different forms of migration and different patterns of visiting friends and relatives (VFR). This paper develops an explanatory framework for conceptualising and analysing VFR mobilities, seeking to draw together threads from migration, mobilities, and tourism studies. In unpacking the notion of VFR, this paper understands VFR mobilities as being constituted of diverse practices and discusses five of the most important of these: social relationships, the provision of care, affirmations of identities and roots, maintenance of territorial rights, and leisure tourism. Although these five types of practices are considered sequentially in this paper, they are in practice often blurred and overlapping. The interweaving of these practices changes over time, as does the meaning and content of individual practices, reflecting changes in the duration of migration, life cycle stage, individual goals and values, and the broader sets of relationships with and social obligations to different kin and friends. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015
    • "Third, as previously found3456 , feelings of dissatisfaction with the healthcare system also influenced why participants (Indian-Australian) in our study made medical returns. Echoing some of the reasons found in previous work [9] , the main reasons for dissatisfaction with Australian health services centred on not receiving the desired medication from a prescribing physician in the country of settlement, searching for an alternative treatment or medication and the therapeutic value of being taken 'home' to recover. Lack of trust in the diagnosis and asking relatives or healers to perform healing rituals at home in the absence of the patient were mentioned in the work by Tiilikainen and Koehn [6], but were not reported by our participants. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims: By going online or overseas, patients can purchase a range of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), without prescription and without input from a qualified health professional. Such practices raise questions about medicine safety and how and why patients choose to procure medicines using such methods. The aim of this paper is to examine two unconventional types of medicine procurement-medical returns and purchasing medicines online-from the patient perspective. Methods: Data are drawn from a large qualitative study examining health-seeking practices among Indian-Australians (28) and Anglo-Australians (30) living with depression in Melbourne, Australia. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were undertaken. Thematic analysis was performed. Findings: A total of 23 (39.6 %) participants reported having obtained medicines either through the internet or via medical returns. Indian-Australians sourced medicines from India while Anglo-Australians purchased CAM products from domestic and international e-pharmacies. Neither group encountered any difficulties in the medicines entering Australia. Cost and convenience were the main reasons for buying medicines online but dissatisfaction with Australian health services also influenced why Indian-Australians sought medicines from India. Nearly all participants reported benefits from consuming these medicines; only one person reported adverse effects. Conclusion: The increased availability of medicines transnationally and patients' preparedness to procure these medicines from a range of sources raise important issues for the safe use of medicines. Further research is needed to understand how patients forge their own transnational therapeutic regimes, understand and manage their levels of risk in relation to safe medicine use and what points of intervention might be most effective to promote safe medicine use.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014
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