Use of health care by young Asian New Zealanders: findings from a national youth health survey.
Ameratunga S., Tin ST., Rasanathan K., Robinson E., Watson P.
AIM: To examine the use of health services and perceived barriers to accessing health care among young Asian New Zealanders. METHODS: Secondary analysis of data from Youth2000, a cross-sectional survey of secondary school students in New Zealand (NZ) conducted in 2001. Of the 9567 survey participants (aged 12-18 years), this study was restricted to students who identified with an 'Asian' ethnic category (n = 922). RESULTS: Chinese and Indian students (the largest Asian ethnic groups in NZ) reported levels of overall health comparable to NZ European (NZE) students. However, relative to NZE students, Chinese students were more likely to report (i) not having a usual location for health care (adjusted OR 3.28; 95% CI: 2.51-4.43); and (ii) having problems getting health care when they needed it (adjusted OR 1.61; 95% CI: 1.32-1.96). Asian students who had been in NZ for 5 years or less (compared with NZ-born students), as well as those who did not speak English at home (compared with those who did) were less likely to report having a usual source of health care, even after adjusting for their overall health (adjusted OR 2.13, 95% CI: 1.27-3.56; and adjusted OR 1.69, 95% CI: 1.11-2.56, respectively). CONCLUSION: Young Asian New Zealanders are less likely to access health care than their NZE counterparts. The perceived barriers require explicit attention within the broader platforms of health-care quality, and professional and cultural competence of health-care services.