'I think that Polish doctors are better': newly arrived migrant children and their parents׳ experiences and views of health services in Scotland

Health Place. 2014 Nov:30:86-93. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.08.006. Epub 2014 Sep 18.


Understanding users׳ perceptions and expectations of health care provision is key to informing practice, policy and health-related measures. In this paper, we present findings from a qualitative study conducted with recently migrated Eastern European children and their parents, reporting on their experiences of accessing health services post-migration. Unlike the case of adults, the experiences of newly migrated children have rarely been explored in relation to health services. We pay particular attention to three key areas: (1) migrant families׳ views of health service provision; (2) barriers to health service use; and (3) transnational use of health services. By using a social capital approach, we show how concerns about the Scottish health care practices enacted by migrant parents are adopted by children and are likely to impact on families׳ health beliefs and behaviours. The study highlights the important role of migrants׳ active participation as users of health services. We conclude that appropriate health services need to consider more carefully migrants׳ expectations and complex health care activities, in order to be fully inclusive and patient-centred.

Keywords: Eastern European migrants; Eastern European migrants׳ beliefs of health; Migrant children׳s experiences of health care; Social networks and trust; Transnational use of health services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction / ethnology*
  • Poland / ethnology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Scotland
  • Transients and Migrants / psychology*