Is immigrating a health hazard?

Immigrants generally arrive with better health than the Canadian-born population. However, as time passes this “healthy immigrant effect” disappears. The reasons are numerous. Increasingly, newcomers lack suitable employment and income, face racism and become disillusioned by their experience.

Nationally one quarter of immigrants have reported difficulty accessing healthcare. Challenges included waiting lists, high costs, language barriers and an inability to find a doctor. Is Canada squandering the health capital of new immigrants? How would a more privatized health system serve newcomers? What impact will the Dennis Raphaeldiminishing health experience of newcomers have on Canada?

York University Professor Dennis Raphael (left), together with Eunadie Johnson, executive director of the Toronto-based Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, and Ryerson University Professor Grace-Edward Galabuzi will discuss these questions and more in a free public forum tonight at the St. Lawrence Centre, 27 Front St. E. in Toronto. The forum takes place from 7:30 to 9:30pm and will be moderated by Canadian broadcast journalist Adrian Harewood. It is presented by the St. Lawrence Centre Forum and the Ontario Coalition of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

Raphael is the undergraduate program director of the School of Health Policy & Management in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. He has worked and written in the areas of education, human development, measurement and evaluation, and community health. The most recent of his 100 publications have been concerned with the health effects of income inequality, the quality of life of communities and individuals, and the impact of government decisions on Canadians’ health and well-being. His policy research involves both critical analysis of current trends in social and health policy as well as involving informed community members in these activities.

For more information on the public forum, click here.