Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Increased Urgent Care Center Visits among Southeast European Migrants. A Retrospective, Controlled Trial from Switzerland

Version 1 : Received: 25 July 2018 / Approved: 26 July 2018 / Online: 26 July 2018 (04:08:21 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Klukowska-Röetzler, J.; Eracleous, M.; Müller, M.; Srivastava, D.S.; Krummrey, G.; Keidar, O.; Exadaktylos, A.K. Increased Urgent Care Center Visits by Southeast European Migrants: A Retrospective, Controlled Trial from Switzerland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1857. Klukowska-Röetzler, J.; Eracleous, M.; Müller, M.; Srivastava, D.S.; Krummrey, G.; Keidar, O.; Exadaktylos, A.K. Increased Urgent Care Center Visits by Southeast European Migrants: A Retrospective, Controlled Trial from Switzerland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1857.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1857
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15091857

Abstract

BACKGROUND: We investigated whether immigrants from Southeast Europe (SE) and Swiss patients have different reasons for visiting the emergency department (ED). METHODS: Our retrospective data analysis for the years 2013-2017 describes the pattern of ED consultations for immigrants from SE living in Switzerland (Canton Bern), in comparison with Swiss nationals, with a focus on type of referral and reason for admission. RESULTS: A total of 153,320 Swiss citizens and 12,852 immigrants from SE were included in the study. The mean age was 51.30 (SD=21.13) years for the Swiss patients and 39.70 (SD=15.87) years for the SE patients. For some countries of origin (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Turkey), there were highly statistically significant differences in sex distribution with the predominance for male. SE immigrants had a greater proportion of patients in the lower triage level (level 3: SE: 67.3% vs. Swiss: 56.0%) and a greater proportion of patients in the high triage level than the Swiss population (level 1: SE: 3.4% vs. Swiss: 8.8%,). SE patients of working age (16-65 years) were six times more often admitted by ambulance than older (≥65 years) SE patients, whereas in the Swiss population this ratio was similar. In both groups, fast track service was primarily used for patients of working age (<65) and more than three times more often in the SE than the Swiss group (SE: 39.1%, Swiss: 12.6%). CONCLUSION: We identified some indications in access to primary care in Emergency Department for immigrants highlighting the need for attention to the role of organizational characteristics of primary health care in the Switzerland. The authors have highlighted the need for professional support to improve the quality of healthcare for immigrants. In the future, more primary care services and general practitioners will need to be provided with a migrant background.

Subject Areas

southeast Europe; immigrant; healtcare

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