Immigrants and Health Care Essay

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Throughout the last three decades, increasing numbers of Asians have migrated to Canada from all over the Asian continent. Currently, 44% of the Vancouver area population is of Asian descent (Statistics Canada, 2001). Immigrants commonly occupy skilled job positions that the host nation is unable to fill with its own citizens, and thus they offer many advantages to their receiving country. In a nation with a declining birthrate, such as Canada, their contribution can play a major role on multiple levels. The immigrants themselves often enjoy a greater earning potential than they did in their native country, which can be advantageous for those who wish to send money back home to support their families. An interesting phenomenon – the …show more content…
First, they must pass a health-screening process beforehand. In Canada, health screening was implemented to ensure that no immigrant becomes a burden on health or social services or “is a danger to public health or safety” (Government of Canada, 2002:np). Canada has no list of diseases that will automatically disqualify would-be immigrants, but infectious conditions such as HIV-AIDS can decrease their chances of acceptance (Zencovich, Kennedy, MacPherson, & Gushulak 2006). Screening does not guarantee that the host country will receive immigrants that are healthier than its own citizens, but it does ensure that people with serious health problems are not allowed to immigrate; consequently, the cohort of immigrants coming to North America tends to be healthy.
The second aspect of the HIE is that the sick and the poor tend not to attempt immigration, a process of self-exclusion that, by default, selects for the healthiest and wealthiest. Both health and wealth contribute significantly to the ability to move to another country: individuals of the greatest wealth and health have the greatest ability to migrate (Kennedy et al., 2006). The amount of money required to facilitate a move from Asia can be quite substantial. For example, shipping charges and plane tickets can cost thousands of dollars, a sum that a poorer individual would simply be unable
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