Transnational healthcare as process: multiplicity and directionality in the engagements with healthcare among Polish migrants in the UK


Drawing on a mix-methods study comprised of an online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews, this article presents findings about the complexity and development in time of health service use by Polish migrants living in the United Kingdom. The article contributes to the analysis of transnational healthcare practices by operationalising a framework that considers service access within and beyond national borders, and between private and public sectors. By categorising engagements with healthcare providers based on their occurrence in time it argues for an understanding of transnational healthcare as a process. It finds that Polish migrants manage their health by accessing a variety of different providers. This complexity is also reflected in the multiple ways in which access to services with regards to specific health issues unfolds in time. By focusing the analysis on specific health issues rather than individuals the article finds that multiple ways to access healthcare services coexist for the same participant, who does not necessarily move towards particular healthcare providers unitarily, but adopts ad hoc solutions on the basis of their experiences within specific medical areas. Understanding migrants’ patterns of accessing healthcare can contribute to more effective policy solutions supporting migrants in the UK today.

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48(9): 1998-2017