This paper is a contribution to the debate on how to make health-care services in the United Kingdom more responsive to the needs of older people who are members of recent immigrant groups. The focus is on the Chinese-origin elders, and the objective is to demonstrate their diverse migrant histories, cultural backgrounds and attitudes to both ‘traditional’ and Western health-care practices. The underlying argument is that if National Health Service staff had a better understanding of the diversity of Chinese older people, this would make an important contribution to making the service more sensitive to their needs. To develop this argument, this paper carries out three main analytical tasks. The first is to discuss the range of strategies adopted by Chinese people in general and Chinese older people in particular to improve their health. The second is to study Chinese people's heritage of exploring different methods to organise health in response to foreign culture. The third considers the ways in which the sensitivity of British health-care services to the needs of ethnic-minority groups can be improved, with a focus on the culturagram instrument and procedure. Three contrasting examples are presented.