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Experiences of French Speaking Immigrants and Non-immigrants Accessing Health Care Services in a Large Canadian City
Health Quality Council of Alberta, 210, 811-14 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 2A4, Canada
Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, TRW Building, 3rd Floor, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 4Z6, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 September 2012; in revised form: 10 October 2012 / Accepted: 15 October 2012 / Published: 22 October 2012
Abstract: French speakers residing in predominantly English-speaking communities have been linked to difficulties accessing health care. This study examined health care access experiences of immigrants and non-immigrants who self-identify as Francophone or French speakers in a mainly English speaking province of Canada. We used semi-structured interviews to gather opinions of recent users of physician and hospital services (N = 26). Language barriers and difficulties finding family doctors were experienced by both French speaking immigrants and non-immigrants alike. This was exacerbated by a general preference for health services in French and less interest in using language interpreters during a medical consultation. Some participants experienced emotional distress, were discontent with care received, often delayed seeking care due to language barriers. Recent immigrants identified lack of insurance coverage for drugs, transportation difficulties and limited knowledge of the healthcare system as major detractors to achieving health. This study provided the groundwork for future research on health issues of official language minorities in Canada.
Keywords: immigrants; French language; health care access; family doctor; qualitative descriptive; official language minorities
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Ngwakongnwi, E.; Hemmelgarn, B.R.; Musto, R.; Quan, H.; King-Shier, K.M. Experiences of French Speaking Immigrants and Non-immigrants Accessing Health Care Services in a Large Canadian City. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 3755-3768.
Ngwakongnwi E, Hemmelgarn BR, Musto R, Quan H, King-Shier KM. Experiences of French Speaking Immigrants and Non-immigrants Accessing Health Care Services in a Large Canadian City. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(10):3755-3768.
Ngwakongnwi, Emmanuel; Hemmelgarn, Brenda R.; Musto, Richard; Quan, Hude; King-Shier, Kathryn M. 2012. "Experiences of French Speaking Immigrants and Non-immigrants Accessing Health Care Services in a Large Canadian City." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 10: 3755-3768.