Kirsten Patrick is Deputy Editor at CMAJ. She is currently attending the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting in Colorado Springs, CO.
In the plenary session on providing primary care for refugees, one of the speakers, Kim Griswold, shared an image, now familiar to many, that is designed to help people to understand the difference between equality and equity. It demonstrates how some people start off at a relative disadvantage and need extra help to be able to achieve or access things that more advantaged people are able to experience easily. This image, and similar ones, have been criticized by some social justice thinkers who point out that ...continue reading →
Kim Griswold is Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, and Public Health and Health Professions at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo, New York. Dr Griswold will be speaking at the forthcoming North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting.
Communities in every nation are faced with providing competent, equitable and culturally appropriate services for resettling refugees. Health centric disciplines are not enough to meet the challenges presented by these newly arriving populations, nor to alleviate the disparities they face – such as isolation, limited English proficiency, differences in patients’ attitudes and health literacy levels, and a lack of cultural awareness on the part of providers.
Health inequity can be defined as: “unjust differences in health between persons of different social groups.” ...continue reading →
Kevin Pottie is Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Epi & Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa, as well as co-Chair of the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health, and a family physician at the Immigrant Health Clinic of Ottawa, which he helped to found. Dr Pottie will be speaking at the forthcoming North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting.
My residency training in Ottawa began with a wave of refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala. Most conflict-affected refugees - Somali, Sudanese, Congolese, Karen, Bhutanese, Colombian - come quietly and settle rapidly in our communities. And, even in instances when the media cover the arrival of large waves of refugees, such as the Vietnamese boat people or the recent Syrian war victims, the refugees themselves settle quietly in our communities.
In the early 1990s, it felt almost revolutionary to care for refugees. There were few primary care practitioners trained and ready to lead ...continue reading →
Fern R. Hauck is Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. Dr Hauck will be speaking at the forthcoming North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting.
The scope of the crisis is staggering! The number of people displaced by war, conflict or persecution has hit a record high—over 65 million with 21 million of these being refugees. Most face an uncertain future. Those who are resettled to a developed country are among the lucky ones. Nonetheless, they face many challenges in their new home, including accessing culturally sensitive health care.
My involvement with refugees began on the Thai-Cambodian border, where I spent a year providing primary health care to Cambodian refugees who were living in the largest border camp, having fled there after the Khmer Rouge were ousted after years of genocide. Moving to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2000, I never expected to find that refugees were being resettled in this small city. ...continue reading →
David Benrimoh is a fourth year medical student at McGill University
Dr. Cécile Rousseau is a professorof psychiatry at McGill University, working with refugee and immigrant children
The Syrian Civil War has become the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, creating over 4 million refugees. These refugees have, in large part, taken up precarious temporary residence in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. They are unlikely to find permanent residence there because of local integration policies, and so are left to either wait until the conflict in their homeland is resolved, or to apply to attempt to resettle in another country. It must be understood that those living in refugee camps face difficult conditions: sexual violence, trafficking of women and children, and lack of access to healthcare and education.
Because of poor conditions and limited opportunities in camps, many refugees try and make the move to another country. We have all seen reports of refugees drowning by the hundreds while trying to cross the Mediterranean, and the EU has been paralyzed by indecision with respect to who should take how many refugees. Canada has committed to taking in 10,000 refugees by year’s end ...continue reading →
Nobody could have predicted the desperate state in Syria when the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) Europe Conference for 2015 was awarded to the Turkish Family Medicine Organisation (TAHUD) a few years ago. Few could also have predicted that Turkey would be at the very centre of a mass exodus of people not seen in Europe since the Second World War. According to the UNHCR as of September 2015 the country now finds itself providing refuge to an estimated 2 million Syrians fleeing conflict and destitution. I have heard the current situation being described as a ‘stress test’ of the European values of solidarity and collegiality, ...continue reading →
Simon Bryant is a Canadian Physician currently volunteering with MSF in the Mediterranean
Editor's note: This piece combines two of Simon's blogs published on Médecins Sans Frontières' staff blog 'Moving Stories' on April 26th and May 4th respectively.
Since I arrived in Malta on April 18th over sixteen hundred people have drowned in the Mediterranean, and it's sadly starting to look like the deadliest year ever for trans-Mediterranean crossings. European politicians have scrambled to respond and the "Triton" program, consisting of naval and coast guard ships patrolling Europe's maritime frontiers, has just seen its funding tripled. Still it seems their objective won't be specifically "search and rescue" (SAR) benefiting those near death and close to the Libyan coast, but rather "wait and see" much, much farther north. ...continue reading →
As a professor in Family Medicine at Laval University and cofounder of the Refugee Health Clinic in Québec, I was pretty interested in attending this conference. I was more than satisfied at the end of it. Seeing all the dynamic research studies that have been conducted for refugees and the implementation of concrete projects was so stimulating. In these times of austerity and with shortages of resources in many countries, it was interesting to see that some European countries have started this implementation work from the ground up, but with the involvement of the main health organizations at the European level.
Boluwaji Ogunyemi is a Dermatology Resident Physician in Vancouver, BC, and a freelance writer for the Huffington Post, Ubyssey Newspaper, and the Online Journal for Community and Person-centered Dermatology
As one of my last off-service rotations in residency, I completed an elective rotation in refugee primary care. I was attracted to the idea of a global population placed locally, because I plan to work internationally as part of my future practice, and I enjoy cross-cultural aspects of medicine.