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Welcome to AccessDenied: A Conversation on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health! The aim of this blog is to challenge readers and contributors to re-think the political common sense that denies migrants and immigrants access to health care and impedes their capacity to enjoy the social determinants of good health.  We also consider how the increased movement of people across national borders affects the health of receiving communities.

We ask our readers and contributors to consider some morally and politically tough questions:

Do unauthorized im/migrants have a right to health? To medical care? To publicly funded care?  Is health care a human right?  What are the consequences (political, moral, epidemiological) of denying care to unauthorized im/migrants?  These are fundamental questions about citizenship, social contracts, human rights, health disparities, equity, and community welfare.

This collaborative blog has grown out of a “Take a Stand” initiative of the Critical Anthropology of Global Health interest group of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA).  It is part of a broader effort within anthropology to make our research relevant beyond the academy and contribute to public and policy conversations. Readers may also want to check out our recent Commentary on this topic in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, the SMA’s flagship journal.

Although this effort was initiated by a group of anthropologists, we hope the blog also will engage academics from other disciplines as well as public health practitioners, activists, policymakers, and interested members of the community.

In addition to serving as a space for discussion and dialogue, the blog is also a clearinghouse for relevant news items and a venue for the development of collaborative initiatives on various scales.  We have assembled a working bibliography, a list of links to relevant organizations, policy institutes, researchers, and activist groups who are working on this issue, and a few suggested action steps. Our blogroll of blogs on related topics is visible on the right-hand side of the page (scroll down below Archives). Content will be added regularly — ideally with your help.  Please subscribe, check back for regular updates, and contact us if you would like to contribute!

— The Blog Team:

Heide Castañeda

Jessica Mulligan

Sarah Willen

Nolan Kline

Categories: Welcome
  1. Daniel
    April 19, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Spain is an interesting example.
    The National Health Service in Spain is universal for all the people living in Spain.
    That includes all immigrants, both authorized and unauthorized (art. 12, Foreigners Law 4/2000).
    They can obtain a Health Card, which gives access to the National Health Service.
    To obtain the Health Card you have to be registered in your municipality (we call that the Padrón). This register is completely independent on your legal status in the country.
    The research about the topic shows that the use of the health system by unathorized immigrants is similar or lower than the use of the general population. If you are interested on the topic I can send you some papers published in international journals (as JECH) and Spanish journals (Gaceta Sanitaria, Revista Española de Salud Pública).

    Daniel La Parra
    University of Alicante (Spain)

  2. February 4, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I found out about your site from D. Lende’s Neuroanthropology–and it looks great so far!

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