Event Guide: Crossing Borders in Health

WHAT: an evening panel & discussion about creating a just health care system for immigrants and refugees
WHEN: Thursday November 26th, 6:30pm
WHERE: 55 Gould Street, Student Campus Centre, Room 115, Ryerson University

Health is a fundamental human right, one that is being denied to hundreds of thousands of people living in Toronto. This participatory evening will bring together people who are doing migrant research, front line health care professionals, administrators, students and those who are seeking to learn more about health issues for undocumented peoples living in Toronto, and across Canada.


Paul Caulford, MD, Scarborough Urban Health Outreach Centre (Clinic for the Uninsured) will discuss the reasons for and workings of the SUHOC, a health clinic that serves a large population of undocumented/uninsured persons.

Bob Gardner, PhD, The Wellesley Institute will speak about the health care system and structural issues of equity.

Nell T. will speak about her first-hand experience of attempting to access care as a person with precarious status

MacDonald Scott, LLCL – will speak, as Nell’s legal representation, from a legal perspective, outlining her unprecedented case in attempting to access Interim Federal Health, without status.

Immigrants tend to arrive healthier than the general Canadian population, but health deteriorates with the stresses associated with migration, and the need to access health care inevitably arises. The 200,000 undocumented migrants estimated to live in Toronto are forced to live in chronic fear of becoming ill, and to abandon their medical needs until they become too dire to ignore. Many die without ever having accessed care due to fear of being reported to immigration enforcement and the looming threat of deportation. Afraid of being targeted by immigration enforcement, people are forced to choose between deportation or a healthy life.

Every day in our cities, hundreds of thousands are denied justice at the doors of health care facilities throughout Toronto, and forced to pay impossible fees to access basic medical care. There is a growing consciousness around the GTA that health administrators, front line staff, doctors, nurses, social workers, students, and health professionals, must be able to provide services to all people, irrespective of immigration status, and must work together to create a just health care system that recognizes health as a fundamental human right. We are coming together to create meaningful and accessible services for all people.

We invite you to an evening of discussion that will focus on the question: What would a just health care system in Canada look like?

Join our “Health for All” facebook group to stay updated.

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