Exploring Health Service Underutilization: A Process Evaluation of the Newcomer Women’s Health Clinic
The BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre’s Newcomer Women’s Health Clinic (NWHC) opened in 2014 to fill a gap in services for newcomer women to Canada residing in Metro Vancouver. After 1 year the NWHC was operating at only 50% capacity. An evaluation was conducted to better understand the underutilization of clinic services. Evaluation data was collected via patient intake forms, patient feedback surveys, and one-to-one interviews with both newcomer women and service providers who work with newcomer women. Results highlight the heterogeneity in newcomer women’s experiences including different perceptions of health, health needs, and health-seeking behaviours. Despite the population’s diversity, some common experiences exist, including difficulties navigating and accessing a new health system and lack of awareness of the NWHC. Findings provide insight for improving the delivery of NWHC services, and contribute to a rich and ongoing dialogue concerning the diversity of experiences of newcomer women in Canada.
KeywordsNewcomer Women’s health Access to health services
Special thanks to the staff of the NWHC who work hard to provide quality care and a positive patient experiences—April Stewart, Tamera Stilwell, Jaswinder Bisra, Cheryl Nand, and Kyla Oughton. We are also grateful to Denise Zabkiewicz for her helpful feedback on early versions of the manuscript and to Bal Lashar, Ann Pederson, and Edwina Houlihan for their ongoing support.
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