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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


ALARCON M, Ana María; ASTUDILLO D, Paula; BARRIOS C, Sara  and  RIVAS R, Edith. Intercultural health care policy from the perspective of health care providers and mapuche clients . Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.9, pp.1109-1114. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Intercultural health is becoming an emergent topic in the design of health care programs for Mapuche people of Chile. This process faces important challenges such as the scarce theoretical support about the meaning of intercultural health and their practical consequences for providers and clients. Aim: To explore the perception in providers and Mapuche clients about intercultural health. Material and methods: A survey performed in 11 counties with the highest concentration of Mapuche people, of the IX region of Chile. The perception about the development of a new health policy specially designed for Mapuche patients was surveyed in 399 Mapuche patients and 64 providers of primary health care centers. Results: Mapuche clients considered, as the main regional challenges, the indifference and discrimination of health care teams towards Mapuche patients, aggravated by the indifference of authorities. Providers considered that the main problem was a lack of knowledge about Mapuche culture and skills to deal with this ethnic group. Patients and providers agreed on the need to use Mapuche dialect in health care attentions, to coordinate actions with traditional healers and to accept ethnical therapeutic practices. Conclusions: There is scarce agreement between providers and Mapuche clients about the need for an special intercultural health policy, its contents, and the regional conditions for its implementation and development (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 1109-14)

Keywords : Ethnic groups; Health care delivery; Indians; South American; Population groups; Quality of health care.

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