Between Law and Reality: A Comparison on Access to Health Care for Undocumented Migrants in France, Italy and Switzerland

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Gionco, Marta
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2018-05
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Journal Article
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Undocumented migrants often suffer from poor living conditions and face many challenges in receiving access to health care. Reacting to this, France, Italy and Switzerland implemented different provisions aimed at granting access to the national health system for undocumented migrants living in the country. These systems differ significantly depending on the type of national health care system, the financing method and whether or not a separate scheme for undocumented migrants exists. This article analyses the laws and practices in these countries in light of the human rights principle of accessibility, and its elements of non-discrimination, physical accessibility, economic affordability, and information accessibility. Through this comparative analysis, the article evaluates the impact of different solutions on the respect of the human right to health care, identifies the main obstacles to the effective implementation of the principle of accessibility, and proposes policy recommendations for the full implementation of the right to health care. The article concludes in favour of the adoption of a human-rights approach in order to bridge the gap between law and reality.
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Creighton University School of Law
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