AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Human development focusing on access to health care of South Asian immigrants living in the Greater Toronto area (GTA)

by S. M. Islam

Institution: Laurentian University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Access to Health Care; Human Development; Quality of Life; Visible Minority; Immigrants; South Asian in Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
Record ID: 2033077
Full text PDF: https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/dspace/handle/10219/2292


Immigrant populations enter Canada hoping for a better quality of life and usually with higher health status because of the Canadian immigration process which screens out those who have health problems. However, after living in Canada for a time, visible minority immigrants experience barriers/challenges to accessing health care and their health declines. Visible minority immigrants are more likely to reach their full potential when they have equal and appropriate access to health-care opportunities in their host society. The objective of this study is to investigate the challenges/barriers South Asian immigrants face in accessing the appropriate health-care opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) needed for maximizing their human development. Using the convenience sampling technique, a sample of 307 self-administered survey questionnaires and five focus groups of South Asian immigrants living in the GTA were collected. To analyze and measure human development, this research used Amartya Sen's capability and freedom approach that considers human development as a process of expanding people’s choices and opportunities which could enhance their capabilities and freedoms for their quality of life and human development. Access to health care is one of the significant components contributing directly to that quality of life. Using the SPSS software, this research tested the hypotheses, conducted cross-tabulation, chi-square tests and Cramer’s V; the results show that there are statistically significant associations between South Asian immigrants' self-rated health before and after coming to Canada; between self-rated health and access barriers; and between access barriers and capabilities and freedom variables. The results also show that South Asian immigrants’ self-rated health declined after living some time in Canada because of the barriers/challenges to accessing health-care opportunities in the GTA. The study also confirmed that access to health care challenges/barriers is limiting the South Asian immigrants’ growth of capabilities and freedoms and quality of life. For good quality of life and building of capabilities they need access to culturally appropriate health-care services.