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The healthy immigrant effect: A policy perspective

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The Healthy Immigrant Effect (HIE) is the term given to the phenomena of immigrants arriving to Canada with stronger health than their Canadian-born counterparts. However, immigrant health experiences a steep decline over time since migration to reach the Canadian-born population’s health levels or lower. This paper examines the HIE from a policy perspective in the Canadian context by centering on the barriers and facilitators of migrant health. Data was used from the 2018 Canadian Community Health Survey to observe variations among immigrants and the Canadian-born population in both self-perceived health status and the variables related to health service utilization using logistic and linear regression models. A comprehensive policy model is recommended to make immigrant health a priority for both federal and provincial governments, including a migrant sensitive health strategy complemented by mandatory cultural sensitivity training for providers and administrators, and the inclusion of migrant-specific variables in the national health census.
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