Social capital and the health services utilization of immigrants in Ontario
Authors: Deborah Anne Samek
Social capital can be defined as a resource found in the relationships between individuals and within the community that facilitates access to resources. Social capital may have an effect on health services utilization. Few studies have explored the impact of social capital on the propensity and frequency of general practitioner visits for immigrants. The relationship between social capital and health services use by immigrants was analyzed using a dataset consisting of socio-demographic data from the 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey linked to physician claims from the Ontario Health Insurance Program for fiscal year 2006. The results suggested that the community belonging aspect of individual social capital was associated with a decrease in the number of GP visits for immigrants. Thus, community services may substitute for formal health care for immigrants.
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