Ideological assumptions of Chile's international migrant healthcare policy: A critical discourse analysis

Glob Public Health. 2022 Aug 11;1-15. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2022.2111452. Online ahead of print.


In the current historical moment of rewriting the Chilean Constitution, there are new hopes for producing a different socio-legal, political-economic and public health order. The Chilean case holds important implications for global health practitioners, researchers and policy-makers because it clearly shows both the impacts of neoliberal processes on a worldwide scale and neoliberal policy responses. This article contributes to the field of global health policy critical analysis by offering scrutiny of Chile's international migrant healthcare policy from the perspective of its ideological assumptions. We apply Fairclough's analytical perspective to the Chilean migrant healthcare policy, identifying its components, argumentative premises and ideological assumptions that contribute to the reproduction of the processes of social determination. It allows us to identify bias mobilisation, exclusion, and subordinate inclusion processes that systematically lead to the omission of structural processes in the social determination of migrants' healthcare, contributing to their reproduction. We conclude by problematising the place of academia in said reproduction to the extent that the concepts and premises they use remain in the ideological territory of exclusion of the structural defined by the policy, disconnecting reflection and action in the health field from collective demands.

Keywords: Public policy; critical discourse analysis; interculturality; neoliberalism; social determinants of health.