Health services available to asylum seekers in Quebec via the IFHP
Obstacles to employment, the loss of their support network, and difficulties in accessing health services are all factors that threaten the physical and mental health of migrants. Since 2016, the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) has covered medical and paramedical services in Quebec for most refugees and asylum seekers. We invite you to become a health-informed asylum seeker.
A brief overview of access to health services for asylum seekers
Without speaking the official language of the province of Quebec and holding a work permit valid for only 90 days after they arrive in “la belle province”, migrants are often forced to hold precarious jobs and carry out activities harmful to their health and which contribute to the emergence of musculoskeletal injuries, or even to them becoming chronic. Most of the time, asylum seekers are unaware of the existence of a program that covers health services for them, from the moment they arrive in Quebec to their acceptance as a permanent resident, when they obtain their health insurance card.
In 2016, the federal and provincial governments created the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which oversees the coverage of a range of medical and paramedical services. Upon presentation of the asylum seeker’s application form and a doctor's referral, the patient can thus have access to services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, and speech therapy.
A successful and healthy integration
Wise and adequate attention can thus make all the difference for a migrant's quality of life and their integration in Quebec. At Action Sport Physio Cabrini and Action Sport Physio Saint-Leonard, we aspire to improve access to musculoskeletal care for the entire population. This is why we serve asylum seekers. There are various reasons to consult us for our services, including:
- musculoskeletal injuries related to work or not;
- postpartum recovery;
- orthopedic and developmental problems in children (flat feet, congenital torticollis, scoliosis);
- urinary incontinence issues.
Active listening, cultural respect, and collaboration with the patient are a priority when providing health services to this population. Our multicultural and experienced team of rehabilitation professionals ensures a quality of care that meets the highest standards. If you want to know more about our models of care, contact us (in French, English, Spanish, or Arabic).
Be a healthy asylum seeker... For a new start, and to get Back to Life!
Maria Prado, physiotherapist
ASP Cabrini: 514 259-3791