Initial care for migrants in Chile: status of a primary health care initiative after one year of implementation

Chepo et al.


Describe sociodemographic characteristics, health needs, effective referrals, and immediate evaluation of international migrants who participated in the Initial Care for Migrants program during its first year of implementation (May to December 2016) at the Ignacio Domeyko Family Health Center in Santiago, Chile.


Descriptive study. An intervention was designed and implemented to welcome international migrants. It included an initial comprehensive evaluation, a situation assessment, identification of needs, referral to other health services, and transfer of information. Statistical analysis was performed, using measures of central tendency and absolute and relative frequencies to describe sociodemographic characteristics, migratory processes, health needs, and effective referrals after one year of monitoring, as well as the results of a user satisfaction survey.


436 people were registered, of whom 270 (61.9%) participated; 80% were women, mostly from Peru and Venezuela. The largest number of referrals were to pregnancy services (32.6%), followed by family planning (30%) and social services (27.04%). After one year of monitoring, there was 100% compliance for referrals to cardiovascular testing, 97.7% for pregnancy, and 87.7% for social services. The lowest compliance was for referrals to mental health services (11.1%).


This intervention, the first of its kind in Chile, welcomed international migrants and provided them with key information, while providing referrals based on health needs and promoting the inclusion of the immigrant population in the Chilean health system.

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Original research