The War on Language: Providing Culturally Appropriate Care to Syrian Refugees

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Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released a document in January 2016 regarding medical care of Syrian refugees as an effort to support primary care providers in the care and early assessment of their new patients [1]. The fourteen-page document provides an overview of the transition to Ontario medical care, from the Immigration Medical Examination prior to the refugee’s entry into Canada, to health insurance coverage resources and information [1]. Health care providers may welcome this plethora of informa­tion, but the presence of a language barrier may prove to be the most considerable issue.



En janvier 2016, le ministère de la Santé et des Soins de longue durée de l’Ontario a publié un document au sujet des soins médicaux pour les réfugiés syriens, pour appuyer les fournisseurs de soins primaires lorsqu’ils soignent et effectuent l’évaluation initiale de leurs nouveaux patients [1]. Le document de quatorze pages fournit un survol de la transition vers les soins de santé ontariens, allant de l’examen médical aux fins d’immigration précédant l’entrée du réfugié au Canada, à de l’information sur les régimes d’assurance-maladie [1]. Les professionnels de la santé recevront sans doute favorablement cette abondance d’information, mais la présence d’une barrière linguistique pourrait se révéler comme étant le problème le plus substantiel.

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