Recent immigrants to Canada face barriers to accessing primary care and may miss out on the benefits of finding a family doctor.
“We know that there is a barrier even in a place like Canada, where we provide support to the public health carebut what has not been studied so far, is how long a migrant’s stay in Canada has an impact on access to health care, “said Dr. Nisanthini Ravichandiran, a family physician who completed the study as a specialist. a medical science student. Department of Family Medicine at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. ” and social support to help them run the program. “
Ravichandiran is currently practicing family medicine in Scarborough. She said the reason for the study was to see how her parents managed health care when they immigrated to Canada at an early age, and to see how complex the system has been for recent immigrants. without knowing anything. the work of family doctors in Canada.
The study is based on the Canadian Public Health Survey, which collects data on health status, health use, and factors that affect Canadian public health. The researchers compared recent immigrants with a foothold on whether they had a regular health worker, and the number of times they entered the health care system in one year.
And while they’ve found that recent immigrants are less likely to get a primary health care provider, they have a similar amount of health care. debate as guests are set up. Researchers say this indicates that recent immigrants may have access to health care for further care by entering clinics, or emergency care.
Maria Mathews, a professor of family medicine at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and author of the study said “The key to family medicine is to have this long lasting relationship with your family doctor.” “Without a primary care provider, guests may miss out on health education and health improvements that are especially important when you are new to the system.”
Researchers have found that a number of factors can contribute to this lack of primary care for newcomers, including language barriers and transportation or lack of significant social support, or social well-being of the local community.
“Perhaps some immigrants who mean being in their community means they have people in their lives who can help them navigate Canada. health care system and support them to find a family doctor, ”said Bridget Ryan, professor of family medicine and epidemiology & biology at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and author of the study.
Researchers hope this project will help policymakers figure out what they can do to help newcomers to Canada gain access. primary care.
Nisanthini Ravichandiran et al, The health benefits of immigrants in Canada: an in-depth study of the Canadian Public Health Survey, BMC Primary Care (2022). DOI: 10.1186 / s12875-022-01682-2
University of Western Ontario
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