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Aten Primaria. 2011 Oct;43(10):544-50. doi: 10.1016/j.aprim.2010.09.014. Epub 2011 May 4.

[Frequency of attending primary care clinics by the immigrant versus autochthonous population].

[Article in Spanish]

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Equipo de Atención Primaria San Pablo, Sector Zaragoza II, Servicio Aragonés de la Salud, Universidad de Zaragoza, Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud, redIAPP, España.



To study the frequency of attendance in primary care of immigrant population compared to autochthonous one. To analyse differences in health services use according to geographical origin.


A retrospective descriptive study was carried out. All Family Medicine and Paediatrics consultations were analysed using the electronic medical record.


Retrospective descriptive study. We analysed all the medicine and paediatrics appointments data from the electronic medical record.


Urban Health Centre, Zaragoza.


All patients with an appointment at the Health Centre during a one year period.


Is in line with the reference population with health cards by sex and age. Direct standardisation was performed to avoid differences due to different population distribution.


Number of visits annually to the doctor, on the basis of national origin, sex and age.


We analysed 110,046 adult consultations (based on a population of 20,675 inhabitants, 20% of immigrants) and 17,647 paediatric consultations (based on 2,452 children, 29% of immigrants). Adjusted annual consultation ratio of Spanish patients was higher than that of the immigrant population (7.1 consultations vs 4.8 in children, and 4.7 vs 2.8 in adults) (P<.001). Adults from Eastern Europe showed the lowest number of consultations (1.6). In emergency consultations in Primary Care, Spanish children consulted more frequently than immigrants, but immigrant adults consulted more frequently than Spanish adults.


Immigrant population consulted primary care services less often compared with the Spanish population. There are notable differences according to geographical origin. This can be explained by better health, better use of healthcare system, and other difficulties in accessibility to health systems.

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