The move to a new country is difficult regardless of who you are and where you are
coming from. For months now, the Syrian refugees have been at the forefront of
Canadian news. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answered the refugee crisis by
announcing that Canada would be accepting over 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of
2015. Although this news was met with much satisfaction among the general public, the
important question of how Canadians would be able to provide for said refugees
became an issue
. In sticking with our stereotypical warm and welcoming ways,
preparations have been underway so as to provide the utmost care for the Syrian
refugees. Fast forward to March 2016, various sectors have taken part in these
preparations to arrange for adequate shelter, food, and healthcare
It was agreed upon that all Syrian refugees coming to Ontario will have access to full
health coverage through interim federal health and the provincial government.
itself has received a portion of the 25,000 refugees. Concerning healthcare,
the (HCNH) has been at the forefront of
providing health services to Hamilton's incoming Syrian refugees. The HCNH specializes
in providing primary healthcare services to newcomers in Hamilton. Specifically, the
HCNH conducts assessments, provides immunization updates and connects new
immigrants and refugees to services through a clinical care path. It is mostly comprised
of local doctors and nurse practitioners.
The HCNH is currently dedicating three days a week to seeing Syrian refugees
. As of now,
the centre has dedicated Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Furthermore, Mondays are designated 'walk-in' days so as to provide immediate care.
According to the Director of Operations Terri Bedminster, the centre will eventually set
aside Saturdays as well to seeing Syrian refugees. In the long term, this will increase the
HCNH's capacity to provide adequate healthcare for Syrian refugees inhabiting the
The treatment of refugees is no small task, and it is to be carried out with a care model
that is very complex. Most refugees come from war-ridden countries with a lack of
and treatment options. Often, the physical and chronic diseases in
refugees can be a result of delayed/no treatment as a side effect of war.
Physical injuries aside, there is no way to ascertain the psychological state of someone
who has come from a war-torn country where death is common. Physical injuries
treated relatively easily but recovering from psychological trauma is an entirely different
issue which must be handled with care. It is evident that the transitioning process will
take time for Syrian refugees. Nonetheless, it is obvious that the HCNH is partaking in an
important first step towards the settling Syrian refugees in Hamilton.