Since we are on the subject of the costly health needs of Syrian refugees (Netherlands in previous post), here is some news about how Canadian mental health providers are getting ready for the huge influx of mostly Syrian Muslims expected to be settled from coast to coast in the coming year.
Doctors in a handful of clinics across Canada are preparing for the arrival of many thousands of refugees fleeing the war in Syria. So far only a few have arrived, but more are expected as part of the new government’s commitment to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees through 2016.
“The most significant part of our practice is dealing with mental health issues,” says Dr. Meb Rashid, who works at the Crossroads Clinic, a refugee clinic in Toronto, and is currently working with Lifeline Syria to establish clinics for the expected influx of Syrian refugees in Toronto.
Meeting the health needs of thousands of Syrian refugees will not be easy, Rashid admits. “It’s really the scope of this. If we’re looking at tens of thousands of people, we haven’t seen those types of numbers before.” As well, he and other doctors are concerned that the current lack of full health coverage for privately sponsored refugees under the Interim Federal Health Program will make it difficult to meet Syrian refugees’ health needs.
Despite this, Rashid and his colleagues across the country, from Toronto to Vancouver to Halifax — where a new clinic for refugees has just opened — say they are ready for the challenge. “We’re starting to ramp things up,” says Rashid.
Continue reading here.
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