Health authority prepares for health-care needs of refugees

Over the next three months, the Interior region is expecting up to 400 Syrian refugees

  • Dec. 30, 2015 1:00 p.m.

The New Year marks a new beginning for Syrian refugees arriving in the Interior region. Refugees will face many challenges as they adjust to new homes, new lives and a new health-care system. Interior Health and its community partners have been working hard over the past several weeks to help ease that transition and be prepared to meet the health-care needs of the new residents, who began arriving in the region earlier this month.

Over the next three months, the Interior region is expecting up to 400 Syrian refugees. The Interior region typically sees an average of 1000 refugees arrive in the area each year.

“This is certainly a higher number than we are used to in a very short time period. It has provided us with an opportunity to focus on ensuring high quality, evidence-based health care for refugees and for all newcomers to our region,” said Dr. Trevor Corneil, Chief Medical Health Officer and Vice President of Population Health.

Interior Health’s Population Health department has been working with primary care centres, physicians and other health-care providers, community agencies and local municipalities to develop a response plan to meet the health-care needs of refugees. The team has been working closely with staff from the Bridge Clinic in Vancouver – a preventive and primary care clinic for refugees in the Greater Vancouver area. Together, they have developed protocols, tools and training for health-care providers in the region.

“Although basic health screening takes place prior to refugees’ arrival in Canada, at the local level we have to be prepared to deliver health-care services once they arrive in our region. Immediate health-care needs will range from immunizations to access to medications and mental health supports,” said Leslie Bryant MacLean, Program Manager, Population Health. “We have been working to ensure providers have access to the information they need to provide care in a culturally sensitive manner, while also addressing challenges such as language barriers.”

The Interior region receives approximately 11,000 newcomers to the area each year – this includes refugees, immigrants, and temporary workers. The new care protocols and pathways are expected to improve care for all newcomers to the region.

Just Posted

Boil water notice in effect for Peachland

Interior Health recommends all customers drink boiled water or a safe alternative.

Tax increase proposed to meet Lake Country facility maintenance gap

A draft of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan proposes tax increases

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

COSAR makes Kelowna Law Day debut

The search and rescue team was on scene as Girl Guides were arrested left and right

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

West Kelowna Minor Baseball finally sees the light

The local baseball association has stadium lights at its main stadium

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Most Read