Utilisation of hospital emergency departments among immigrants from refugee source-countries in Queensland

Mahmoud, Ibrahim & Hou, Xiang-Yu (2013) Utilisation of hospital emergency departments among immigrants from refugee source-countries in Queensland. Clinical Medicine and Diagnostics, 3(4), pp. 88-91.

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Despite the increasing number of immigrants, there is a limited body of literature describing the use of hospital emergency department (ED) care by immigrants in Australia. This study aims to describe how immigrants from refugee source countries (IRSC) utilise ED care, compared to immigrants from the main English speaking countries (MESC), immigrants from other countries (IOC) and the local population in Queensland. A retrospective analysis of a Queensland state-wide hospital ED dataset (ED Information System) from 1-1-2008 to 31-12-2010 was conducted. Our study showed that immigrants are not a homogenous group. We found that immigrants from IRSC are more likely to use interpreters (8.9%) in the ED compared to IOC. Furthermore, IRSC have a higher rate of ambulance use (odds ratio 1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–1.3), are less likely to be admitted to the hospital from the ED (odds ratio 0.7 (95% CI 0.7–0.8), and have a longer length of stay (LOS; mean differences 33.0, 95% CI 28.8–37.2), in minutes, in the ED compared to the Australian born population. Our findings highlight the need to develop policies and educational interventions to ensure the equitable use of health services among vulnerable immigrant populations.

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ID Code: 61557
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Emergency Department, immigrants, refugees, health utilisation, health access
ISSN: 2163-1441
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Scientific & Academic Publishing
Deposited On: 28 Jul 2013 23:27
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2013 21:15

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