Undocumented Migrant Women and Their Children in Chile: Implications for Chile's Crece Contigo Policy of a Child's Rights to Health.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Maria GUERRA, Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile
Nicola NORTH, University of Auckland, New Zealand
For migrants, access to health services in Chile is determined by immigration status, meaning it is imperative to have documented immigration status or refugee status. For undocumented migrant, they can only access health services privately, since they lack documents that enable him to live legally in Chile. However, in the case of pregnant women, children and adolescents up to 18 years there is another provision. A year after the CHCC sub-system was implemented, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health of Chile made public an "Agreement" by which access to healthcare, regardless of the immigration status of pregnant women, children and adolescents, and emergency healthcare, was made explicit.

Although the CHCC system does not refer directly in its guidelines to access by the immigrant community, actions to reduce maternal and infant health inequities are implicit for children and pregnant immigrants and children born in Chile to an immigrant mother (Chilean children) after an “Agreement” that enables access by these groups to the health system regardless of immigrant status. Despite this, it seems from documents analyzed that implementation at lower-level operational organizations of the health system and by healthcare teams has been uneven.

After more than six years of implementation of CHCC and the "Agreement", it is important to remember that the mechanisms underpinning adaptation between two state initiatives is essential if, first, the objective of protecting the health of pregnant women immigrants and their children is to be achieved (Agreement) and secondly, to accompany, protect and comprehensively support all children and their families through the actions and universal services provided for by CHCC. From this perspective, any action that is not made or is made late in maternal-child health works against what is hoped to be achieved in both strategies.