Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘canadian political economy’

“On March 21st, members of Sanctuary Health, a network of healthcare workers and organizers, met for a vigil in front of the Fraser Health Authority Offices, one of BC’s largest health-care providers, in Surrey. They were there to honour the victims of a practice which puts migrants without permanent residency status at risk within the healthcare system.

Undocumented immigrants are often afraid to access services, like healthcare, because they’re likely to be referred to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and deported. A Freedom of Information request made by the community group revealed that between January of 2014 to October 2015, staff at Fraser Health’s facilities made 558 referrals to the Canada Border Services Agency. Fraser Health says they contact CBSA to determine billing rates since nonresidents are charged more. But doing so keeps many people away.

The FOI also showed that Fraser Health’s policy was to have staff – physicians, nurses, and social workers – work with the financial department in facilitating deportations of undocumented patients.

Knowing this, many avoid getting care. There are reports of people with expired tourist visas being visited at their hospital bedside by CBSA officials.

“We started to get phone calls from construction workers,” says Byron Cruz, a member of Sanctuary Health in an interview with Rankandfile.ca: “They say “I had this situation with my arm and I don’t want to go to the hospital because they’ll call immigration.””

Sanctuary Health was formed to deal with such situations.

“With some clients, we give direct nursing care such as dressing changes, wound care, assessment or just comforting them through a difficult time,” Sarah Reaburn, a nurse volunteering with Sanctuary Health said. The volunteers do this work while depending on free clinic space and supplies. Sanctuary Health volunteers also let people know about other places they can receive care, continuously connecting patients with trusted healthcare workers.

“We send a message to our network explaining the situation, then any of the nurses or healthcare workers can respond and say they can see the patient at the clinic, outside of the system,” says Cruz. “We had a construction guy with an eye injury who we arranged to meet a doctor at the corner of a street. We had another situation with a guy who needed stitches. We sent a message to the network and the first person who answered was a veterinarian.””

– Daniel Tseghay, “Hospitals are not border checkpoints,Rankandfile.ca. March 30, 2016.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »