Health status and health care of immigrants in Canada: a longitudinal analysis
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OBJECTIVES: This paper focuses upon health status, need for care, and use of health care from 1994/95 to 2000/01 in the Canadian foreign-born population. METHODS: Using Statistics Canada's longitudinal National Population Health Survey, descriptive and survival analyses are used to explore immigrant health status and health care. RESULTS: The health status of immigrants quickly declines after arrival, with a concomitant increase in use of health care services. However, survival analysis of the risk of a change to poor health indicates no difference between immigrants and the native-born. Similarly, there is no difference in the risk of hospital use between the two populations. CONCLUSIONS: The health status of recent immigrant arrivals is observed to decline towards that of the native-born population, while health care utilization increases. However, increased use may not be sufficient to offset declines in health, meaning that need for health care within the immigrant population may be unmet.
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