Remittance flows from healthcare workers in toronto, canada

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Previous research indicates that Canadian healthcare workers, particularly long-term care (LTC) workers, are frequently composed of immigrant and racialized/visible minorities (VM) who are often precariously employed, underpaid, and face significant work-related stress, violence, injuries, illness, and health inequities. Few studies, however, have analyzed the contributions and impact of their labor in international contexts and on global communities. For instance, it is estimated that over CAD 5 billion-worth of remittances originate from Canada, yet no studies to date have examined the contributions of these remittances from Canadian workers, especially from urbanized regions consisting of VM and immigrants who live and/or work in diverse and multicultural places like Toronto. The present study is the first to investigate health and LTC workers’ roles and behaviors as related to remittances. The rationale for this study is to fill important knowledge gaps. Accordingly, this study asked: Do health/LTC workers in the site of study send remittances? If so, which workers send remittances, and who are the recipients of these remittances? What is the range of monetary value of annual remittances that each worker is able to send? What is the purpose of these remittances? What motivates the decision to send remittances? This mixed-methods study used a single-case design and relied on interviews and a survey. The results indicate that many LTC workers provided significant financial support to transnational families, up to CAD 15,000 annually, for a variety of reasons, including support for education and healthcare costs, or as gifts during cultural festivals. However, the inability to send remittances was also a source of distress for those who wanted to assist their families but were unable to do so. These findings raise important questions that could be directed for future research. For example, are there circumstances under which financial remittances are funded through loans or debt? What are the implications for the sustainability and impact of remittances, given the current COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effect of dampening incomes and wages, worsening migrants’ health, wellbeing, and quality of life, as well as adversely affecting recipient economies and the quality of life of global communities?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9536
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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