Date of Award

5-1-2004

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Field of Study

Health Management and Policy

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Chiehwen Ed Hsu

Second Advisor

Sue Lurie

Third Advisor

Raghbir Sandhu

Abstract

Le, Tuan D., Barriers to Health Care Access among Vietnamese Refugees in Tarrant County, Texas. Master of Public Health (Health Management & Policy), May 2004, 88 pp., 17 tables, 11 illustrations, bibliography, 56 titles. The refugee community is the most vulnerable community due to existing medical conditions without proper treatment and many barriers in accessing the health care system, including different language, cultural conflict, legal restrictions, and socioeconomic status. The purpose of this study is to determine the nature of these barriers that keep the Vietnamese refugees from accessing the health care system in Tarrant County. The study found that 45.8% have no health insurance, 17.4% received Medicaid, 53.7% have no primary care physician, and 57.14% of Vietnamese elderly refugees, who have been living in the U.S. between seven and ten years, and have lost SSI and Medicaid. These findings are significant at p<.001. Vietnamese refugees perceived factors that kept them from accessing the health care system as major barriers, including language (14%), legal issues (17%), misunderstanding of the medical system (15%), lack of insurance (14%), and different culture (11%). These results may assist social service providers, health care providers, and policy activists to enhance their services and advocate for legal issues, in order to remove these barriers and help refugees to access health care better.

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