New Canadians Health Center
“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members”
Welcome to the New Canadians Health Centre (NCHC)
The New Canadians Health Centre (NCHC) is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of medical and allied professionals and linked to a comprehensive set of programs and services to support refugees’ health and well-being in Edmonton.
The emphasis of this health centre is on serving newcomers of refugee backgrounds during their first two years in the country and building Edmonton’s capacity for responsive refugee care through training and consultation. The NCHC supports government-assisted refugees, privately sponsored, and refugee claimants.
Why is a dedicated health centre for refugees needed?
Compromised health at multiple levels, with mental health at the forefront, is a major challenge for refugees. The circumstances that drive refugees from their home countries combined, for many, with extended periods in refugee camps, exacerbates health concerns. People have often witnessed or experienced systematic violence, torture, rape, imprisonment, and starvation, and have faced the loss of family members, home, and community. Others have dealt with discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, and religion.
Without proper detection and treatment of treatable conditions upon arrival to Canada, refugees’ health can decline, creating preventable costs in the health system. In the transition to life in Canada, income inequalities, language barriers, and unfamiliar social and cultural environments, layered with the loss of status and social networks, profoundly impact refugees’ quality of life and can cause secondary trauma in the resettlement and integration experience.