Primary Health Care Models Addressing Health Equity for Immigrants: A Systematic Scoping Review

J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Feb;20(1):214-230. doi: 10.1007/s10903-016-0531-y.


To examine two healthcare models, specifically "Primary Medical Care" (PMC) and "Primary Health Care" (PHC) in the context of immigrant populations' health needs. We conducted a systematic scoping review of studies that examined primary care provided to immigrants. We categorized studies into two models, PMC and PHC. We used subjects of access barriers and preventive interventions to analyze the potential of PMC/PHC to address healthcare inequities. From 1385 articles, 39 relevant studies were identified. In the context of immigrant populations, the PMC model was found to be more oriented to implement strategies that improve quality of care of the acute and chronically ill, while PHC models focused more on health promotion and strategies to address cultural and access barriers to care, and preventive strategies to address social determinants of health. Primary Health Care models may be better equipped to address social determinants of health, and thus have more potential to reduce immigrant populations' health inequities.

Keywords: Health determinants; Health equity; Immigrants; Primary care; Primary health care; Refugees.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Health Equity*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care*