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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(2), 606-622; doi:10.3390/ijerph10020606
Article

Comparison of Health Status and Health Care Services Utilization between Migrants and Natives of the Same Ethnic Origin—The Case of Hong Kong

,
 and
*
JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 18 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
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Abstract

Based on the 2009 Thematic Household Survey in Hong Kong, this study compared health status and utilization of health care services in Hong Kong between migrants from Mainland China and natives. Overall, Mainland migrants reported lower socioeconomic conditions, worse health status, and less health care services utilization than the natives. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, we found that the migrants were 1.2 times more likely to report fair or poor health and 0.78 times less likely to report having a usual source of care, compared with the natives. Mainland migrants also had fewer physician visits and relied more on the public sector. Within the migrant group, those who had language advantage had more visits, and the recent arrivals who stayed in Hong Kong for three years or less had fewer visits and were far less likely to have a usual source of care. The findings underscore migration as an important social determinant of health in Hong Kong. A combination of targeted social and health policies is needed to help Mainland migrants better integrate into society and to improve their access to care. Programs should be tailored to address varying needs from different subgroups among migrants.
Keywords: migrants; primary care; utilization; disparity; social determinant of health; Hong Kong; China migrants; primary care; utilization; disparity; social determinant of health; Hong Kong; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Liu, S.; Hu, C.X.J.; Mak, S. Comparison of Health Status and Health Care Services Utilization between Migrants and Natives of the Same Ethnic Origin—The Case of Hong Kong. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 606-622.

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