Multifaceted Aspect of Phisician-Migrant Patient Relationship


  • Caterina Bassetti Department of Experimental Medicine, '' Sapienza '' University of Rome, I
  • Matteo Gulino PhD in Legal and Insurance Medicine, '' Sapienza '' University of Rome, I


Immigrant patients, Multiethnic society , Italian Health System


The failed approval of the abrogation of the irregular immigrants signalling ban and the introduction of the law n.94/2009, "Disposizioni in materia di sicurezza pubblica", offer an interesting starting point for the analysis of the multiethnic Italian society. The Italian health system is oriented toward the equal treatment of the immigrant patients (regular and irregular) and the Italian citizens. Despite this theoretical equality the relationship between the physician and the foreign patient is problematic to be managed. There are several linguistic and cultural barriers that undermine the good effect of the medical treatment from both physical and psychological point of view. The article pays special attention to the causes of the incomprehension and it draws a possible meeting point between different cultures. The traditional western medicine approach must be integrated, in a multiethnic society, with an approach that emphasizes the human intercultural contact. The challenge of the health professionals nowadays and in the future is represented by the overcoming of the merely scientific diagnosis in favour of the rediscovering of the listening instrument, especially when the patients belong to a different cultural and values system.