Breaking down barriers so migrant adolescents with health problems have access to medical care

Breaking down barriers so migrant adolescents with health problems have access to medical care
Breaking down barriers so migrant adolescents with health problems have access to medical care

Current and emerging conflicts around the world are forcing more and more people to flee their countries. As a result, the number of migrants (refugees and immigrants) arriving in Canada is increasing.

MONTREAL, May 22, 2024 /CNW/ – It is not easy to leave behind everything you know and love: family, friends, school and home. And it’s difficult to adjust to a new home and culture, especially for migrant teens who have chronic health problems. Many barriers (such as language, culture or lack of information about the health system) prevent these young people from obtaining the care they need when they need it.

“Many migrant adolescents with chronic illnesses arrive in Montreal in poor health. They may not have seen a doctor in months, and their prescriptions may have run out. They may have had complex and traumatic experiences that increased their risk of malnutrition, stress, anxiety and other physical and mental problems,” explains Dr. Patricia Li, pediatrician at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. (Le Children) and researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center. “We must support these children, especially teenagers, so that they understand the workings of our health system and their rights as patients to improve their access to care. »

To help this population, Dr. Li and the team at the Children’s Multicultural Clinic and Compass Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto developed a two-year pilot project called the Intervention Program for migrant teenagers.

The Multicultural Clinic is delighted to be the 2024 recipient of a $500,000 grant from TD, in collaboration with FHEC. The Annual Initiative Grant was created in 2020 as part of TD’s 10-year commitment to FHECs through The TD Ready Promise, the Bank’s corporate citizenship platform, to address the main concerns of adolescents. Thanks to funding from TD by FHEC, the Multicultural Clinic will launch its intervention program at Children’s in the coming months.

“By promoting equitable access to healthcare, TD is helping to create a more inclusive world, where everyone can believe in their future. Through the TD Ready Promise, TD is pleased to support programs, like this one, that enable teens to obtain care tailored to their needs in a caring environment. Arriving in a new country has its share of challenges, and I am proud that TD supports hospital foundations to facilitate this transition for newcomers and their families,” says Abe Adham, President, Quebec Branch, TD Bank Group

Breaking down barriers

The difficulty of navigating a complex health care system, language, cultural differences, discrimination, economic barriers, and issues related to geography and transportation are just some of the barriers that face migrant adolescents and their families.

Equipping adolescents so that they can defend their health rights

Here are the objectives of Intervention program for migrant teenagers :

• Reduce unnecessary clinic and emergency room visits and hospitalizations as much as possible;

• Respond effectively to unmet care needs;

• Give young people and parents the means to know their rights and have tools to help them take care of themselves and defend their interests;

• Support adolescents transitioning from pediatric to adult care;

• Improve the general health and quality of life of participants.

Children estimates that the project will help approximately 200 to 300 migrant adolescents and their families over the next two years. The program will be designed in collaboration with these teens and their parents in order to adapt it to their needs.

Development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines

Funding from TD will enable research to evaluate the program, to provide evidence for clinical practice guidelines. The guidelines will enable pediatric hospitals and clinics in Canada and elsewhere to implement their own intervention programs for migrant teens, thereby multiplying the impact of TD’s donation.

“The impact of grants awarded by TD Bank Group to support projects in Canada’s children’s hospitals cannot be overstated,” said Adam Starkman, President and CEO of the Canadian Children’s Hospital Foundations. “The Migrant Teen Intervention Program will provide invaluable lessons and guidelines that can be shared across the entire network of children’s hospitals in Canada, allowing them to implement similar programs. As communities across the country welcome new Canadians, the potential for this program is enormous and far-reaching. »

“I am grateful to TD Bank Group and the Children’s Hospital Foundations of Canada. The annual initiative grant makes the Migrant Teen Intervention Program a reality. Together, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting the health and well-being of young migrants, and to fostering a future where every child can thrive,” says Renée Vézina, President of The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Publication Health Index: 2024-05-22

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