Syrian refugee crisis

Advisory Alert

November 12, 2015

*Cette information est seulement disponible en anglais.

MEMORANDUM TO: Health workers, health sector employers and other health system partners

FROM: Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

The Federal government indicated as part of their election platform, and has subsequently reconfirmed, their commitment to resettle 25,000 government-assisted refugees to Canada before the end of 2015. There are many unknowns at this point including confirmation of resettlement locations, timing and pacing of resettlement and total numbers of refugees.

What is known is that Ontario will likely be a major point of entry for incoming refugees over the next few months and we need to ensure the health system is ready, willing and able to assist. Refugees typically face greater settlement and integration challenges than other newcomers. Many refugees have experienced prolonged periods in refugee camps, trauma, violence, and limited access to health care and education. As part of the immigration process, refugees undergo medical screening at their point of departure, are assessed by Quarantine Officers at an airport upon arrival in Canada and will require medical assessment and ongoing care once they have settled into temporary accommodations. Ontario’s health system will be called upon to assist.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently undertaking advanced planning with provincial and federal partners to prepare Ontario’s health, social services, education and housing sectors for a large influx of refugees to ensure supports are available for all refugees.

As more information is made available, we will communicate with partners across the health system to ensure local plans can be put into place to provide all the necessary supports this at-risk population deserves.

Health system partners may direct any questions to the ministry’s Health Care Provider Hotline by email at or by phone at 1-866-212-2272.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Eric Hoskins
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

c: Deputy Minister Dr. Bob Bell


This item was last modified on September 9, 2016