Road to better health and integration: A Delphi study on health service models for Hong Kong migrants

William C.W. Wong, Petula S.Y. Ho, Jun Liang, Eleanor A. Holroyd, Cindy L.K. Lam, Agnes M.Y. Pau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In Hong Kong, migrants arriving from Mainland China often have multiple roles and responsibilities while adapting to new lives in their host destination. This paper explored the factors that contribute to the inequity in health services utilisation experienced by these migrants; and, identified the elements that could constitute an effective health delivery model to address the service gap. Methods: Site visits and a focus group discussion (n = 13) were held with both public and private health providers before a number of innovative health delivery models were formulated. They were then circulated among the panel in two further rounds of Delphi survey (n = 11) from March-April 2012 to systematically collect opinions and select the most endorsed health service models to serve this target population. Results: Focus group members perceived that most migrants were unaware of, or even ignored, their own physical and mental health needs, and had low utilisation of healthcare services, because of their pre-occupation with daily chores and hardship as well as differing health values, practices and expectations. They further identified that the structural issues such as the healthcare setting or the operation of current service provisions had failed to meet migrants health needs. Consequently, four new service models that incorporated professional advice and empowerment, which were identified as the two most important elements, were put forward. Thus, the model of having a nurse with social work training, supported by volunteer groups, was selected as the best option to familiarise and empower patients within the labyrinth of local healthcare services. Conclusion: Implementation of a social empowerment model by way of targeted support and specific health information is recommended. Further evaluation of this model is needed to understand its effectiveness for improving health literacy and health status in this disadvantaged group in the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Access to health care
  • Delphi technique
  • Health Policy
  • Healthcare delivery
  • Migrants


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