Reinvestigating Access to Healthcare Services and Unmet Healthcare Needs Among Immigrants in Canada: Results from the 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey
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Objective: To compare the differences in the reported experience of unmet healthcare needs of recent immigrants (i.e. immigrants living in Canada for five years or less) and Canadian-born adults and to determine if the factors that contribute to unmet healthcare needs risk have changed from 2000/01 to 2014. Methods: Data used are from the 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey, conducted by Statistics Canada. The study sample includes 6,710 immigrants and 50,227 Canadian-born adults aged 18 and older living in Canada. For the analysis, a number of multivariate binary logistic regression models were created. Results: That the risk of a recent immigrant reporting unmet healthcare needs was 9.5% lower than a Canadian-born adult’s risk (OR=0.905, p=0.8310) after adjusting for immigrant status, age, gender, and other variables identified in the Andersen Behavioural Model of Healthcare Utilization. The factors that contributed to the unmet healthcare needs risk remained similar to those previously identified by Wu et al. (2005), however their effect on reporting an unmet healthcare need has changed slightly since 2000/01. Additionally, this study found that an immigrant’s length of residence in Canada was also associated with their risk of reporting an unmet healthcare need. After adjusting for individual population-based factors, the risk of reporting an unmet healthcare need by a long-term immigrant (i.e. an immigrant who has lived in Canada for 15 years or more) was similar to a Canadian-born adult’s risk; higher than a recent immigrant. However, immigrants living in Canada between 5 and 9 years had the highest risk of reporting an unmet healthcare need when compared those in Canada for 5 years or less. Conclusions: This study found that differences in UHN experiences by immigrants and Canadian-born adults in 2014 declined from 2000/01. While immigrant status was not significantly associated with UHNs risk during 2014, their risk of experiencing UHN was 9.5% lower than Canadian-born adults’ risk, findings similar to other studies (e.g. Wu et al. 2005). After adjusting for immigrant status, age, sex, and individual factors, 11 variables were identified that significantly contributed to unmet healthcare need experiences in 2014. These include age, sex, highest level of education; sense of community belonging, access to regular sources of care (e.g. family and general practitioners) or specialist services; income; and self-rated health status and stress levels. Furthermore, although immigrants’ risk of experiencing unmet healthcare needs do change over time, their length of time in Canada was not significantly associated with this change. This research highlights the importance of understanding how individual factors can affect access to healthcare services and UHN experiences.
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Allan Puran (2019). Reinvestigating Access to Healthcare Services and Unmet Healthcare Needs Among Immigrants in Canada: Results from the 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15328