Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 635853, 10 pages
Research Article

Barriers to Health Care for Chinese in the Netherlands

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received 21 January 2011; Revised 12 April 2011; Accepted 2 May 2011

Academic Editor: John Furler

Copyright © 2011 Cha-Hsuan Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examines utilisation of the Dutch health care system by Chinese people in the Netherlands as well as their attitudes to the system, paying special attention to mental health. Information was gathered by semistructured interviews ( 𝑛 = 1 0 2 ). The main issues investigated are access, help-seeking behaviour, and quality of care. Results showed that most respondents used Dutch health care as their primary method of managing health problems. Inadequate knowledge about the system and lack of Dutch language proficiency impede access to care, in particular registration with a General Practitioner (GP). Users complained that the care given differed from what they expected. Results also showed that the major problems are to be found in the group coming from the Chinese-speaking region. Western concepts of mental health appear to be widely accepted by Chinese in the Netherlands. However, almost half of our respondents believed that traditional Chinese medicine or other methods can also help with mental health problems. The provision of relevant information in Chinese appears to be important for improving access. Better interpretation and translation services, especially for first-generation migrants from the Chinese-speaking region, are also required.