Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 697–709 | Cite as

A Scoping Review of Immigrant Experience of Health Care Access Barriers in Canada

Review Paper


Canadian population-based surveys report comparable access to health care services between immigrant and non-immigrant populations, yet other research reports immigrant-specific access barriers. A scoping review was conducted to explore research regarding Canadian immigrants’ unique experiences in accessing health care, and was guided by the research question: “What is currently known about the barriers that adult immigrants face when accessing Canadian health care services?” The findings of this study suggest that there are unmet health care access needs specific to immigrants to Canada. In reviewing research of immigrants’ health care experiences, the most common access barriers were found to be language barriers, barriers to information, and cultural differences. These findings, in addition to low cultural competency reported by interviewed health care workers in the reviewed articles, indicate inequities in access to Canadian health care services for immigrant populations. Suggestions for future research and programming are discussed.


Immigrants Health access Barriers Canada 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Rehabilitation TherapyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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