Barriers to Accessing Healthcare Services for Migrants and Refugees

The following are identified barriers to accessing healthcare for Asian migrant and refugees:

  • little knowledge of the New Zealand healthcare system, services and entitlements

  • language and / or literacy barriers; insufficient availability of interpreting services in primary healthcare

  • lack of cultural awareness by healthcare providers. Some migrants and refugees have expectations and health seeking patterns that are different from the norms in New Zealand

  • stigma associated with mental health can prevent individuals and their family members from accessing appropriate assessment and treatment services

  • financial barriers, cost of consultation fees, medication and travel (poor public transport systems) can have a significant impact, especially on refugees who have few assets and often present with complex health needs requiring them to have access to a range of health services