22 May 2012
Knowing what real use is made of health services by immigrant population is of great interest. The objectives are to analyze the use of primary care services by immigrants compared to Spanish nationals and to analyze these differences in relation to geographic origin. Retrospective observational study of all primary care visits made in 26 urban health centers. Main variable: total number of health centre visits/year. Dependent variables: type of clinician requested; type of attention, and origin of immigrants. The independent variable was nationality. Statistics were obtained from the electronic medical records. The 4,933,521 appointments made in 2007 were analyzed for a reference population of 594,145 people (11.15 % immigrants). The adjusted annual frequency for nationals was 8.3, versus whereas 4.6 for immigrants. The immigrant population makes less use of primary care services than national population. This is evident for all age groups and regardless of the immigrants’ countries of origin. This result is important when planning health care resources for immigrant population.