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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2012 Oct;30(8):472-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eimc.2012.07.004. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

[Assessment of the impact of the new health legislation on illegal immigrants in Spain: the case of human immunodeficiency virus infection].

[Article in Spanish]

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Medicina Tropical, Servicio de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid.


The immigrant population in Spain, whether legal or not, has been entitled to healthcare under the same conditions as the Spanish population since the year 2000. The entry into vigour of the Royal Decree-Law 12/2012 of 20 April has significantly restricted this right, so that unauthorized or non-resident foreigners may now only receive emergency care, if they are under 18 or pregnant women. Out of an estimated 459,909 illegal immigrants in our country, 2,700 to 4,600 are probably infected with HIV; 1,800 to 3,220 know that they are infected, and 80% of the latter could receive antiretroviral treatment. The Royal Decree-Law is likely to cause many undesirable consequences in this population infected with HIV: increasing mortality, promoting the emergence of opportunistic diseases, increasing hospital admissions, increasing infections in the population (by HIV and other pathogens), or contributing to mother to child transmission of HIV. The expected increase in morbidity and mortality will be a greater cost in patient care, a cost which will be significantly higher in the more immunosuppressed patients. Therefore, the enforcement of the Royal Decree-Law will be much less cost-effective in the short term than was expected, and will negatively affect our country's public health, especially for those patients infected with HIV who will not be covered, thus increasing healthcare medium to long term costs, and moving away from the international health goals that were established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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