Focus Group Summary:  Low-German Speaking Mennonites 

  • Overall, health care in Canada is experienced as being very effective in comparison to their experience in Mexico, particularly because it is free to access. 
  • Navigating the health care system is very difficult for newcomers when they first arrive as they do not know who to contact or where to look for information on health care. 
  • There is a huge lack of trained medical interpreters who can speak Low-German in the region. The main source of translation in the region is a volunteer interpreter. 
  • The lack of available interpreters has led to some women and their families receiving very unclear information about their health care, which has an impact on follow-up treatment. When interpreters are available, some physicians are reluctant to include them in the discussion. 
  • Transportation presents a large barrier for some women who live in rural areas a far distance from their primary care providers.
  • Some of the participants discussed not having their concerns taken seriously, such as not receiving medication for their child’s serious ear infection. 
  • Many Low-German speaking women reported receiving good care related to childbirth. Following child birth, they stated family physicians inquire about their health, including asking about feelings of postpartum depression. 
  • There is a need for additional support following childbirth. For example, in-home support would be useful for women who require breastfeeding support who may find it difficult to travel with a newborn baby. 
  • Although many participants reported having very positive experiences with their primary care providers, others reported that their primary care provider do not spend enough time listening to health concerns or explaining treatment options. 
  • Wait times to see a specialist are too long, particularly when specialist care is needed for a child