Estudios Fronterizos (Mar 2020)

Ventanillas de Salud: Defeating challenges in healthcare access for Mexican immigrants in the United States

  • Valeria Marina Valle,
  • Wilma Laura Gandoy Vázquez,
  • Karla Angélica Valenzuela Moreno

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21


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The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) improved access to healthcare in the United States. However, immigrants —especially those undocumented— still faced difficulties, which have increased during the Trump administration. In order to bring access to health services to its nationals, the Mexican government has implemented the Health Windows Program (Ventanillas de Salud, or VDS). The article reviews changes in the U.S. healthcare system from the ACA to date, and assesses the role of VDS. The methodology is qualitative, consisting of a literature review, interviews with community leaders and Mexican government officials, and questionnaires sent to four VDS: Arizona, Florida, Idaho and Texas. Results show that VDS provide reliable and affordable access to basic healthcare services, and detection of chronic and non-communicable diseases, especially within undocumented immigrants. Public policy recommendations are offered based on these findings. Limitations of the study include the data collected, which is non-representative of all VDS.