ABSTRACT. The relationship among the presence of illegal immigrants on national soil and the risk of increase of infectious diseases for the native-born populations has been accurately analyzed in recent years, stimulating the debate about the opportunity of granting health care services to illegal immigrants for reasons of common safety. This paper analyzes the regulation of health care services for illegal immigrants in three different European countries: Germany, Italy and Spain, chosen because they represent three different models of decentralized State. Even if they are due to observe the same international conventions and to respect the same dispositions issued by the European institutions on health care services, every country developed its own strategy on the matter. After a description of the specific strategies adopted in the three countries on national level, the paper examines policies and plans implemented at local level by German, Italian and Spanish local institutions. These policies resulted in many cases to be extremely efficient in achieving the final goal of health care services: to ensure a general “right to existence” for all members of a community, without difference between citizens, legal or illegal immigrants. Considering the increasing number of immigrants and refugees present on European soil, the paper suggests therefore in its final part that also other European countries should adopt similar policies at local level in the next future, as well as to consider the opportunity to assure the access to the same health care services to both illegal immigrants and native-born individuals without restrictions, in order to grant safer health conditions to the whole resident communities. pp. 223–239

Keywords: health care services; illegal immigrants; Germany; Italy; Spain; national regulation; local policies

How to cite: de Petris, Andrea (2015), “Granting Health Care Services to Illegal Immigrants. Best Practices from Some European Countries,” American Journal of Medical Research 2(2): 223–239.

Received 14 August 2015 • Received in revised form 23 October 2015
Accepted 24 October 2015 • Available online 27 October 2015

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Department of Law,
Giustino Fortunato University, Benevento

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