What Are the Experiences of Older Mandarin-speaking Migrants in Auckland When Accessing Health and Support Services in New Zealand?
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This study focuses on older Chinese migrants aged 65 years old and over, and explores their experiences of accessing health and support services. The research was informed by guidelines in interpretive phenomenology, and elicited themes related to the health system and service providers, based on participants’ lived experiences. Ten participants in this study, four men and six women, were recruited from two community centres in Auckland, New Zealand. Their time of arrival in New Zealand ranged from 2001 to 2012, and they had encounters with health or support service providers within the past three years. As the methodology requires rich data from participants, semi-structured interviews were employed to carry out in-depth conversation. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and translated by the researcher, and were further rewritten as anecdotes according to recurring themes. Findings of this study revealed main themes as “being sick” and “being vulnerable”, which demonstrated older Chinese participants’ risks and sources of support in their daily lives. The subthemes under “being sick” were participants’ feelings and barriers when accessing health services, which comprised participants’ experiences with General Practitioners, publicly funded hospitals, emergency departments and other primary healthcare services. The subthemes under “being vulnerable” revealed health conditions and accidents which participants were at risk of Participants’ experiences with government services, non-government organisations, family members, acquaintances, and strangers were also discussed.