‘Health has no Borders’: Cape Verdean Immigrants in the Netherlands and the Transnational Quest for Health Care Across Europe

Cláudia de Freitas (European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Studies ‐ ERCOMER, Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

This paper addresses access to formal health care among Cape Verdean immigrants in the Netherlands, and their transnational health‐seeking process in other European countries. Three barriers hindering Cape Verdeans' access to care have been identified: lack of information about the health services available, problems in the relationship with health providers and difficulties in dealing with the conditionality of help. These problems are deeply intertwined, and relate to two sets of factors. At the macro‐level these include the organisational and structural characteristics of the Dutch health care system. At the micro‐level, the problems concern the mismatch between users' and providers' expectations of health care provision.Despite the barriers encountered, Cape Verdeans strive to benefit from good health. The informants in this study employ two sorts of strategy to access good health care. On the one hand, they try to adapt their help‐seeking behaviour to the model prevalent in the Netherlands. On the other, they resort to transnational health care use in other European countries, including Portugal and France. These strategies prove Cape Verdeans' resilience in finding the care that is most appropriate to their needs.

Keywords

Citation

de Freitas, C. (2005), "‘Health has no Borders’: Cape Verdean Immigrants in the Netherlands and the Transnational Quest for Health Care Across Europe", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 19-36. https://doi.org/10.1108/17479894200500004

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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