Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The following notice of a public meeting on the issue of health care for immigrants and refugees this Thursday comes from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). catch it if you're down Toronto way.
Crossing the Borders:
Creating a Just Health Care System for Immigrants and Refugees:‏
~Please forward widely~
Crossing the Borders:
Creating a Just Health Care System for Immigrants and Refugees
* Presented by "Health for All"
Thursday November 26th
55 Gould Street, Student Campus Centre, Room 115
Ryerson University
*An Evening Panel & Discussion Featuring:*
*Paul Caulford, MD, Scarborough Urban Health Outreach Centre (Clinic for the Uninsured) will discuss the reasons for and workings of the SUHOC, a health clinic that serves a large population of undocumented/uninsured persons.
* Bob Gardner, PhD, The Wellesley Institute will speak about the health care system and structural issues of equity
* Nell T.will speak about her first-hand experience of attempting to access care as a person with precarious status
*MacDonald Scott, LLCL will speak, as Nell's legal representation, from a legal perspective, outlining her unprecedented case in attempting to access Interim Federal Health, without status.
* Health is a fundamental human right. One that is being denied to hundreds of thousands of people living in Toronto. Increasingly conservative immigration policies are leading to high rates of rejection of refugee and permanent resident applications. Such policies leave many migrants with no access to health insurance. It is well established that immigrants tend to arrive healthier than the general Canadian population, but with the stresses associated with migration,migrant health deteriorates and the need to access health care inevitably arises.
The 200,000 undocumented migrants estimated to live in Toronto are forced to live in chronic fear of becoming ill, and to abandon their medical needs until they become too dire to ignore. Many die without ever having accessed care due to fear of being reported to immigration enforcement and the looming threat of deportation. Afraid of being targeted by immigration enforcement, people are forced to choose between deportation or a healthy life.
Every day in our cities, hundreds of thousands are denied justice at the doors of health care facilities throughout Toronto, and forced to pay impossible fees to access basic medical care. There is a growing consciousness around the GTA that we, as health administrators, front line staff, doctors, nurses, social workers, students, and health professionals, must be able to provide services to all people, irrespective of immigration status, and must work together to create a just health care system that recognizes health as a fundamental human right.
We are coming together to create meaningful and accessible services for all people. We invite you to an evening of discussion that will focus on the question: What would a just health care system in Canada look like?
This participatory evening will bring together people who are doing migrant research, front line health care professionals, as well as administrators and staff to discuss the current challenges and innovations in expanding services, and routes of entry into the health care system for persons without insurance and status. This forum will bring together a number of people who are already engaged with these issues - but also bring in students and those who are seeking to learn more about health issues for undocumented peoples living in Toronto, and across Canada.
*We want proposals, we want questions, we want to hear your experiences and know what you think the answers are. Please join us for this very important event.
* *Join our "Health for All" facebook group to stay updated:**http://www.facebook.com/group.**php?gid=180071088303&ref=ts*<http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=180071088303&ref=ts>
*Endorsed by*:
Health Is Political
Health Providers Against Poverty
Medical Reform Group
No-One Is Illegal, Toronto
Nursing Students of Ontario Public Health Interest Group,
U of T Medicine
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
Residents without Borders,
University of Toronto
Students for Medicare
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

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