Have you ever heard the phrase, “Not Canadian enough?” That painful sentiment is what volunteer health professionals and patients at The Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care (CCRIHC) fight every day.
For over 18 years, 150,000 patients from 120 countries have turned to the Scarborough-based clinic for the uninsured after being denied care, working toward the vision: All newcomers to Canada receive the healthcare they require, unstintingly, and without judgement of their circumstances. Brad Sinclair, Executive Director, says that while incredible doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners are volunteering to provide urgent help to people in need, funding from different levels of government must increase in order to keep operating.
The organization’s efforts are dedicated to the belief that access to medical care is a human right and CCRIHC helps ensure it. According to the lifelong Toronto resident,
“The real heroes at CCRIHC are the patients. Their stories are astonishing for their sense of courage and sacrifice…The emotional payback for me, and the sense of contribution is always overwhelming. I have had the chance to experience success at the ‘front lines’ of service delivery. I can see on a regular basis the benefit that our services bring to refugees and immigrants in need of basic health care. I am doing my part in a small way.”