Participate in a Study of Refugee Access to Healthcare

Refugee access to healthcare study

On behalf of Dr. Anneke Rummens, Dr. Rick Glazier, and Dr. Michaela Hynie, IFH Changes Project

We invite you to participate in a research study that is collecting information about incidents in which a refugee claimant was denied healthcare or required to pay a fee. This is part of a study on “Accessibility and costs of healthcare for refugee claimants following changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)” conducted by a team of researchers led by Drs. Anneke Rummens at SickKids, Rick Glazier at St. Michael’s Hospital, and Cécile Rousseau NPA and Chris Greenaway at McGill University.

The main goal of the study is to assess the impact of the IFHP cuts on refugee claimants’ access to healthcare, health status, and costs. The study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and has received Research Ethics Board approval from the relevant institutions.

If you would like to take part in this study and report a denial of care incident, please contact the project manager Rodica Balaci at or 416-813-7654, extension 202024; or Dr. Michaela Hynie at or 416-736-2100, extension 22996.

Participation in the project is voluntary, confidential and completely anonymous. Your name will never be associated with the information you provide. Names of individuals and organizations will not be recorded. In addition to protecting your privacy and confidentiality, the research team will take all necessary measures to protect the privacy and identity of the patient, the healthcare institution and the healthcare provider involved in the incident. Please do not mention the patient’s name.

If you agree to take part in this study, a research assistant will phone you at a time of your choosing to explain the study in greater detail and to schedule an interview. During the interview, you will be asked some questions about your own experience working with refugees and refugee claimants, and the following questions:

–        the patient’s sex, age, city of residence, country of origin, migratory status and type of IFHP coverage;
–        the reasons for consultation (type of health problem);
–        the type of healthcare institution (hospital, CLSC, walk-in clinic, etc.);
–        the professional status of the person who communicated or decided to refuse care (e.g., receptionist, family doctor, surgeon, other);
–        a brief description of the incident;
–        the impact on the patient’s health, if any

The telephone or face-to-face interview normally lasts between 30 to 60 minutes and will be digitally audio-recorded.  If you would like to consult your own notes regarding the incident prior to or during the interview, that would be welcome.

Thank you very much for your help! Your collaboration is essential to document instances in which refugee claimants have had difficulty accessing healthcare or experienced complete denial of healthcare.  Your contribution to this research is most valuable and deeply appreciated!


This is on behalf of the Centre for Research on Inner City Health (St. Michael’s Hospital). To provide comments, please email