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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp e75–e80 | Cite as

Immigrant status and having a regular medical doctor among Canadian adults

  • Michelle L. Degelman
  • Katya M. HermanEmail author
Quantitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: New immigrants generally arrive in Canada with a health advantage over their Canadian counterparts, but lose that advantage over time. Difficulties in acquiring a physician may contribute. Past studies relied on older data, and lacked control for many confounders and assessment of gender differences. We assessed the relationship between immigrant status and having a regular doctor among Canadian adults.

METHODS: Cross-sectional data from the 2011–2012 Canadian Community Health Survey were self-reported by 73,958 respondents aged 18–64, representing >20 million Canadian adults. The relationship between immigrant status and having a doctor was analyzed using χ2 and logistic regression analyses stratified by gender. Age, body mass index, race, education, province of residence, physical activity, chronic conditions, self-perceived health, and number of children in household were controlled.

RESULTS: Approximately 77% of males and 87% of females reported having a doctor. About 7% of respondents reported being new immigrants in Canada (0–9 years), while 16% were established immigrants (≥10 years). For males (M) and females (F) respectively, 78% and 88% of non-immigrants, 55% and 68% of new immigrants, and 84% and 91% of established immigrants reported having a doctor (p < 0.001). Compared to non-immigrants, new immigrants were significantly less likely to have a doctor (OR (95% CI) M: 0.43 (0.38–0.47); F: 0.36 (0.32–0.41)), while established immigrants were significantly more likely to have a doctor (M: 1.13 (1.03–1.24); F: 1.16 (1.03–1.30)).

CONCLUSION: New Canadian immigrants are less likely to have a regular doctor compared to non-immigrants, and should be targeted by policies and programs facilitating finding a doctor.

Key Words

Canada immigrant health healthy immigrant effect primary health care health services accessibility 

Résumé

OBJECTIF: Les nouveaux immigrants arrivent en général au Canada en meilleure santé que leurs homologues canadiens, mais ils perdent cet avantage au fil du temps. La difficulté de trouver un médecin peut y être pour quelque chose. Les études antérieures s’appuyaient sur des données plus anciennes et ne tenaient pas compte de nombreux facteurs confusionnels ni des différences entre les sexes. Nous avons évalué la relation entre le statut d’immigrant et le fait d’avoir un médecin attitré chez les adultes canadiens.

MÉTHODE: Les données transversales de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes de 2011–2012 ont été autodéclarées par 73 958 répondants de 18 à 64 ans, qui représentaient >20 millions d’adultes canadiens. Nous avons analysé la relation entre le statut d’immigrant et le fait d’avoir un médecin à l’aide du χ2 et d’analyses de régression logistique stratifiées selon le sexe. Nous avons également tenu compte de l’âge, de l’indice de masse corporelle, de la race, du niveau d’instruction, de la province de résidence, de l’activité physique, des états chroniques, de la santé autoperçue et du nombre d’enfants du ménage.

RÉSULTATS: Environ 77 % des hommes et 87 % des femmes ont déclaré avoir un médecin. Environ 7 % des répondants ont déclaré être de nouveaux immigrants au Canada (9 ans ou moins), tandis que 16 % étaient des immigrants établis (≥10 ans). Pour les hommes et les femmes respectivement, 78 % et 88 % des non-immigrants, 55 % et 68 % des nouveaux immigrants, et 84 % et 91 % des immigrants établis ont déclaré avoir un médecin (p < 0,001). Comparativement aux non-immigrants, les nouveau immigrants étaient significativement moins susceptibles d’avoir un médecin (RC (IC de 95 %) hommes: 0,43 (0,38–0,47); femmes: 0,36 (0,32–0,41)), tandis que les immigrants établis étaient de manière significative plus susceptibles d’avoir un médecin (hommes: 1,13 (1,03–1,24); femmes: 1,16 (1,03–1,30)).

CONCLUSION: Les nouveaux immigrants canadiens sont moins susceptibles d’avoir un médecin attitré que les non-immigrants et devraient être ciblés par les politiques et les programmes qui facilitent la recherche d’un médecin.

Mots Clés

Canada santé des immigrants effet de l’immigrant en bonne santé soins de santé primaires accessibilité des services de santé 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Kinesiology and Health StudiesUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada

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