NEW: additional clinic hours to respond to the Syrian and world refugee crisis.
While we treat approximately 60 patients every week at our Centre
(that's more than 25,000 people since we opened in 1999)
the sad fact is that there are still people living in our community
without access to health care.
You can help!
Please click on the donate button and
make a gift to help us provide care to those who need it
and can't get it anywhere else.
OUR HOPE: (CRIHC'S VISION)
"All newcomers to Canada receive the healthcare they require, unstintingly, and without judgment of their circumstances."
OUR PURPOSE: (CRIHC'S MISSION)
"To provide humanitarian medical treatment and assistance to those new to Canada who find themselves medically uninsured."
They come to the clinic looking for medical help, advice and guidance. They are typically refugees and immigrants: newcomers to Canada who are among the most vulnerable people in Canadian society; who have come to Canada to find a new life, but may find it stubbornly difficult to get started when illness, injury or sickness unexpectedly strikes them or their family members.
Doctors, hospitals, other clinics or social services may have denied them medical assistance because they cannot produce evidence of medical insurance. Or because changes in government policies or procedures may have confused the providers, making it difficult to know who qualifies for care and who does not under the new rules.
The numbers vary. There are often more people in need of treatment than the clinic can see during the two nights a week that it can currently afford to be open. Some come to the clinic seeking settlement advice. Most require primary acute care for serious medical problems, ranging from medical examinations to wound therapy, to complex, life threatening diseases or injuries. Without treatment, their difficult new lives are made even more desperate. Some may die because timely care has not been available. Some have.
For more than a decade, the clinic has welcomed waves of refugees and immigrants. Over 80 languages and countries of origin have been documented. Thousands of patients have been treated. Over 20,000 patient visits have been recorded.
Pregnant women, worried parents with infants in arms, young children, men and women, and the elderly, come to the clinic seeking medical attention or other social health assistance, or sometimes both. They are not looking for charity or a handout. They would pay for their treatment, if they could, and some manage to find a way. They come because they have nowhere else to turn to for help.
The clinic is volunteer-driven. Healthcare and other professionals give their time as freely as possible. Their purpose is purely altruistic. They are dedicated to helping the refugees and immigrants that come to the clinic get the medical help they need. They do not judge their patients, or question their immigration status (90% are in Canada with permission) or their ability to pay. They call in favours. They recruit others to volunteer their services and equipment. They navigate the healthcare system and social services to find creative ways to deliver care and assistance, working long hours in the service of others.
The clinic provides opportunities for doctors and nurses to treat sickness, illness and injuries that are generally unfamiliar to many Canadian trained medical professionals, such as tropical diseases, post- traumatic syndrome and wounds (both physical and mental) encountered by civilians in conflict zones. The clinic has served as a model that others have followed in establishing similar volunteer clinics across Canada.
Doctors, nurses, allied care professionals and social workers have sought out the clinic to volunteer upon hearing about the work it does. They want to give back by helping Canada's newcomers overcome illness to get on with their lives. Their desire to help goes beyond their medical training or social consciousness. They believe Canada is a compassionate society; that what makes Canada great is its ability to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Moreover, a fundamental understanding exists among the clinic's volunteers, many of which have immigrant stories of their own. The memory of what it means to leave one country and begin a new life in a new land is still fresh. They themselves, or their parents, or other relatives, have first-hand experience of what it takes to make the mental and physical journey and start again.
They recognize Canada is a nation of immigrants. They and all Canadians have benefitted from the energy of newcomers and their unyielding will to succeed. The drive and determination of refugees and immigrants to make better lives for themselves and their families have helped Canada prosper and to become one of the most admired societies in the world.
Canada's immigrants and refugees deserve a fighting chance. Providing humanitarian medical treatment to the uninsured new Canadians is the volunteer clinic's contribution to this higher purpose.
On February 27th, 2016 The CCRIHC invites you to unite with us for our "GO CANADA!" Gala to raise the support we need to meet the growing healthcare needs for Syrian and ALL refugees, and others new to Canada who need it.
The Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Healthcare is now being called upon to provide much more. We are ramping up our care and have added clinics to meet rising refugee medical needs in the GTA. Across Canada our colleagues are doing the same.
To purchase tickets please follow this link:
Please bookmark this site and come back as this will have more infomation in the future and is a growing web site.
"YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE"
is a new documentary film, the work of film maker Kevin O'Keefe, in association with i channel. The documentary focuses on the plight and horrible circumstances of medically uninsured refugees and immigrants - and their families, in Canada, and the politics that conspire to create this growing human rights and healthcare tragedy.
click here for more info