Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

April 24, 2009 10:19 ET

Government of Canada Supports Immigrant Families at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2009) - Newcomer families will have improved access to health-care services at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as they settle and integrate into Canada, announced Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today.

"The Hospital for Sick Children is a vital resource for many immigrant families, whose first contact with the medical system may well be through this hospital," said Minister Kenney. "This Government is committed to helping make the integration easier for newcomers. When we invest in these kinds of projects, we are investing in the future of all Canadians."

The Hospital for Sick Children, commonly referred to as SickKids, received $9.2 million in funding for an immigrant support network that will improve access to health-care services for immigrant newcomers and assist the staff at SickKids to better meet the needs of their patients. The support network will include the translation of core patient health education articles into the most commonly required languages at the hospital; these articles will be available online and as audio files. Another component of the network is cultural awareness education for health-care professionals, including a comprehensive needs assessment to determine the nature and frequency of issues faced by immigrant children and their families. It is anticipated that approximately 73,800 newcomers will benefit from this investment.

"SickKids is thrilled to partner with Citizenship and Immigration on creating accessible health information for new immigrant families in Ontario," said Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO for The Hospital for Sick Children. "The funding provided will allow us to adapt current information and processes to better meet the health needs of this important population and make best practices available to other hospitals across Ontario through workshops and training on cultural competence to better meet the health needs of this important population."

Settlement services are an essential part of the federal government's immigration program. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has substantially increased funding to support settlement programs and services. An additional $1.4 billion is being invested over a five-year period in all provinces and territories outside Quebec. Increasing the uptake of immigrant settlement programs was identified as a government priority in the 2008 Speech from the Throne.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada funds a number of programs that help newcomers settle, adapt and integrate into Canadian society. These programs are delivered in partnership with provinces, territories, service-providing organizations and our stakeholders, such as the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

For more information on CIC programs, consult our website at www.cic.gc.ca.

Contact Information