Immigrants and Health Care Essays

Immigrants and Health Care Essays

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Throughout the last three decades, increasing numbers of Asians have migrated to Canada from all over the Asian continent. Currently, 44% of the Vancouver area population is of Asian descent (Statistics Canada, 2001). Immigrants commonly occupy skilled job positions that the host nation is unable to fill with its own citizens, and thus they offer many advantages to their receiving country. In a nation with a declining birthrate, such as Canada, their contribution can play a major role on multiple levels. The immigrants themselves often enjoy a greater earning potential than they did in their native country, which can be advantageous for those who wish to send money back home to support their families.
An interesting phenomenon – the healthy immigrant effect (HIE) – has been observed in many countries, such as Canada, the United States, and Great Britain (Kennedy, McDonald & Biddle 2006). That is, immigrants entering these countries are typically healthier than native-born citizens. Yet, although a clear health gap separates native-born Canadians from new immigrants, it gradually dissipates to the point where the two groups exhibit similar levels of health (McDonald & Kennedy, 2004). Why people who have consistently enjoyed high levels of health for much of their lives would experience such a marked decrease is rather puzzling, but two major contributing factors have been identified – problems in access to healthcare and acculturation – which will be the focus of the following discussion. The former works against immigrants’ health by impeding their access to both preventative and therapeutic care. The latter compounds this effect by creating new and unhealthy behaviours in immigrants, while at the same time acting as a barrier...


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...e united states.” Journal of Transcultural Nursing 19:16.

Statistics Canada. 2001. “2001 community profiles. ” Accessed December 3, 2009 (http://www12.statcan.ca/en glish/Profil01/CP01/Details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=C SD&Code1=5915022&Geo2=PR&Code2=59&Data=Count&SearchText=vancouver&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=59&B1=Population&Custom= ()).

Unger, Jennifer B. et al. 2004. “Acculturation, physical activity, and fast-food consumption among asian-american and hispanic adolescents.” Journal of Community Health 29:467-481.

Young Muslims “Khulwah.” Youngmuslims.ca. Accessed November 27, 2009 (http://web.youngmuslims.ca/online_l ibrary/books/the_lawful_and_prohibi tion_in_islam/ch3s1p2.htm).

Zencovich, M., K. Kennedy, D. W. MacPherson, and B. D. Gushulak. 2006. “Immigration medical screening and HIV infection in Canada.” International Journal of STD & AIDS 17:813.

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