Undocumented Migrants and Healthcare: Eight stories from Switzerland

Marianne Jossen


I cannot over-emphasise the importance that this sort of research is published and available in the public domain. There is a move across Europe to exclude non-citizens from healthcare as a result of nationalist agendas and the threat of austerity. Marianne clearly demonstrates that healthcare access is a social process, highlighting the harm experienced by those excluded and the immense work required to gain inclusion.
―Dr Jessica Potter, Queen Mary, University of London

What do undocumented migrants experience when they try to access healthcare? How do they navigate the (often contradictory) challenges presented by bureaucratic systems, financial pressures, attitudes to migrants, and their own healthcare needs?

This urgent study uses a grounded theory approach to explore the ways in which undocumented migrants are included into or excluded from healthcare in a Swiss region. Marianne Jossen explores the ways migrants try to obtain healthcare on their own, with the help of NGOs and using insurance, and how they cope if they fail, whether by using risky strategies to access healthcare or leaving serious health issues untreated. Jossen shows that even for those who succeed, inclusion remains partial and fraught with risks.

Based on interviews with both migrants and health practitioners and using a rigorous academic approach, Undocumented Migrants and Healthcare is an important contribution to a vital contemporary issue. It is necessary reading for researchers in Public Health and Migration Studies, as well as government and non-governmental organisations in Switzerland and beyond. It will be of interest to anyone concerned with healthcare and migration in the twenty-first century.

Undocumented Migrants and Healthcare: Eight stories from Switzerland
Marianne Jossen | Forthcoming
ISBN Paperback: 9781783744787
ISBN Hardback: 9781783744794
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783744800
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783744817
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783744824
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0139

Marianne Jossen is Deputy Director of the EQUAM Foundation and the author of articles on various issues relating to healthcare, published in journals, edited collections and the media.