What health coverage do refugees receive?

Refugees and newcomers to Canada are guaranteed comprehensive health coverage for one year from the point of their arrival under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). See All about Medical Coverage for a comprehensive overview of the IFHP. Newcomers in Kingston and surrounding area are seen by a wide variety of health providers, some of whom offer service in a variety of languages. Check with ISKA if you’d like more specific information about dentists and physicians.

Do refugees require a OHIP card?

Yes, a priority in the first weeks after arrival is a visit to an Ontario Service office to apply for a OHIP card. You will need to bring the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292 or IMM 5688) as well as proof of address. If you use a temporary accommodation address, remember to change this to the permanent address once accommodation has been found.

Are Counselling Services available in Kingston and area?

Clinical Counselling Service in Arabic through LASSA Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency provide clinical counselling in person in Ottawa or online through Skype. 613-236-0003 or 613-236-3111 X 224.

How do we know which pharmacists and dentists in Kingston and area are registered to provide services to refugees under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)?

Contact Medavie Blue Cross for providers in your area https://provider.medavie.bluecross.ca or check with ISKA for the current list. Many local dentists are willing to provide dental care at reduced cost for newcomers.

How can we help connect refugees/newcomers with community or social groups to reduce isolation?

It’s important to connect newcomers with a community beyond the sponsorship group. There are fantastic opportunities for this in Kingston and area. Contact ISKA for current programs and groups.

What forms of recreation exist for newcomers?

Sponsors are encouraged to provide opportunities for recreation for newcomers: visiting, outings, recreational and social events, and engaging in their local community. This may entail going on a hike together, or strolling through the market, or arranging a trip to Sandbanks or apple picking in the autumn. ISKA provides opportunities for newcomer recreation as well.

How do we find translators for medical appointments?

Translation is provided for hospital appointments at Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospital. The hospitals have a contract for a telephone translation service based in California. Indicate the need for the translation service when the appointment is made. Health clinics, on the other hand, are not required to offer translation services. For appointments that require confidentiality and professionalism, you can access Central Eastern Ontario Translation and Interpretation Services CEOTIS 1-888-968-1065 ceotis@quinteimmigration.ca. CEOTIS provides face to face interpretation ($55/hr with 2 hr minimum and additional travel costs) or telephone interpretation ($55/hr, with a 1 hr minimum).

Newcomers have also asked friends and acquaintances with language proficiency to translate in medical appointments that are more routine in nature. Some sponsors and newcomers have chosen to use health clinics in which multi lingual medical treatment is sometimes available; for example, Kingston Community Health Center or the Refugee Health Initiative in the Queen’s Family Practice team. Check with ISKA for up-to-date information about medical clinics that offer multi-lingual services.