Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Treena Orchard


Annually, Ontario welcomes 100,000 new immigrants, who must go through the government-mandated three-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). The objective of this qualitative inquiry was to explore the effects of the three-month wait period on new immigrants’ experiences of accessing health services in Ontario. Drawing on data gathered from in-depth field observations and semi-structured interviews with new permanent residents (n=10) and health care providers (n=4), this study examines the lived experience of this complex policy for those seeking health coverage and those struggling to provide it. The findings from this study highlight the socio-economic and cultural tensions experienced by those in the three-month wait period as they navigate care, along with the impact of the structural impediments posed by the policy on the ability of healthcare providers to deliver sound, equitable, and ethical health care to these vulnerable populations.