Several barriers to health care in Canada for immigrant women
Canada, 7th April: Immigrant women hailing from different nations in Canada find inadequate knowledge and language problems a big hurdle in seeking medical aid, a study by the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and St. Michael’s Hospital.
Many immigrant women admit it is quite difficult to find a doctor in Canada than in their native countries. Hence, they feel compelled to take the obligation of their neighbors for medical help including medicines and measuring of blood sugar levels.
Immigrants in Canada say getting an appointment with a doctor in Canada is not an easy task for them, especially in the wake of language problems since majority of these immigrant women do not understand or speak either English or French, the two official languages spoken widely in Canada.
Moreover, even if they reach the doctor for seeking health care services in Canada, they can’t follow what the physician is saying, admitted a Toronto woman haling from Kabul, Rabah Mohamadi. Mohamadi was without a family physician in Canada at least for four months after she arrived in Canada from Afghanistan.
The findings of the joint study indicate that nearly fifteen percent of immigrants in Canada living in the nation for less than five years time admit that they are without the services of any family physician required for day-to-day health care in Canada.
This is a serious issue that needs an immediate solution to save them from serious complications to their health because as per the study findings, getting the services of any doctor could save them from going to the emergency medical aid, said Arlene Bierman, a lead author of the study.
Canadian government must work towards eliminating various barriers in the health care services in Canada for immigrants keeping in view the fact that Canada’s minority population will actually double by the year 2031.
Another issue of concern highlighted by the study findings was access to dental care. Among various immigrants in Canada, nearly 50 percent of West and South Asian or Arab women had not sought the services of a dentist in the last one year while with white women, it was 25 percent.
Bierman said that lack of access to dental health care could lead to increasing the use of emergency services since poor oral health can result in heart ailments.
Known for being a multicultural nation, Canada must adopt National Standards on CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) to be undertaken by various health care service providers in Canada in order to receive US health department’s funding.