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Report on Honduras: ripples in the pond--the financial crisis and remittances to chronically ill patients in Honduras.

Piette JD, Mendoza-Avelares MO, Chess L, Milton EC, Matiz Reyes A, Rodriguez-SaldaƱa J. Report on Honduras: ripples in the pond--the financial crisis and remittances to chronically ill patients in Honduras. International journal of health services : planning, administration, evaluation. 2012 Jun 21; 42(2):197-212.

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The U.S. financial crisis has affected employment opportunities for Latino immigrants, and this could affect their ability to send financial assistance, or "remittances", to chronically ill family members in their home country. In a cross-sectional survey of 624 chronically ill adults conducted in Honduras between June and August 2009, respondents reported their receipt of remittances, health service use, and cost-related access barriers. Fifty-four percent of respondents reported relatives living outside the country, and of this group, 66 percent (37% of the overall sample) received remittances. Seventy-four percent of respondents receiving remittances reported a decrease over the prior year, mostly due to job losses among their relatives abroad. Respondents reporting reductions in remittances received significantly less per month, on average, than those without a reduction (US $170 vs. $234; p = 0.01). In multivariate models, respondents experiencing a reduction in remittances used fewer health services and medications due to cost concerns. Remittance payments from relatives resident in the United States are a major source of income for chronically ill individuals in Latin America. Most recipients of remittances reported a reduction during the financial downturn that affected their access to care.

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