Healthcare Policy

Healthcare Policy 16(4) May 2021 : 84-96.doi:10.12927/hcpol.2021.26497
Non-Official Language Concordance in Urban Canadian Medical Practice

Non-Official Language Concordance in Urban Canadian Medical Practice: Implications for Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ruolz Ariste and Livio di Matteo

Abstract

Language barriers can reduce access to medical and virtual care. Although the topic of healthcare professionals and linguistic minorities has been studied in Canada, it has mainly been done for official languages (i.e., English and French). Non-official languages (NOLs) have not been explored previously in the healthcare system at the pan-Canadian level. The objective of this study is to determine to what extent NOLs spoken by physicians relate to those of Canadian ethnic groups and are an enabler of access to care. Using data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Statistics Canada, we found an imbalance in the physician-to-population NOL ratios in Montreal and, to a lesser extent, Vancouver.

 

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