Now that Syrian refugees are arriving in B.C., how do we provide healthcare for them? That’s the question asked by a New Westminster non-profit, who’s saying there’s a gap in medical care between privately sponsored and government assisted refugees.
The Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op is asking the federal government to give them and other immigrant settlement services agencies access to a list of privately sponsored refugees.
The Co-op’s co-executive director Esther Hsieh says some sponsors may not know where to go to seek medical care.
“If they go to a regular medical clinic, or family physician say where you and I will go, they will face barriers accessing an interpreter and also potentially their health coverage will not be accepted.”
Hsieh says because privately sponsored refugees aren’t on the same kind of medical insurance as we are, they may need to be directed to different facilities.
“If they need help, they can go to MOSAIC and get some support from settlement services, and then MOSAIC would be able to connect them with these specialized health clinics for refugees.”
The Umbrella Co-op is also looking to raise a total of $25,000 to be able to open their doors an extra day a week, increasing their ability to service more patients with translation services as part of their medical care.