Healthcare for refugees, immigrants focus of student event

The challenges faced by refugees and immigrants in obtaining adequate healthcare in Ontario will be the focus of a public talk for students at the McMaster Health Forum on November 4.

Dr. Andrea Hunter, a pediatrician who works with the Refuge: Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health, will share her experiences of working with this population, and discuss some of the specific challenges that have emerged due to recent cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, which covers some medical services for recent immigrants. Entitled Refugee Health: Cuts, Costs and Conflicts in Care, the talk will take place in the Forum’s DialogueSpace on the fourth floor of Mills Memorial Library, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Hunter will be joined in the presentation by Gabrielle Inglis, a senior medical student at McMaster University who is the co-founder of the Health Advocacy for Refugees Program, a student group focused on advocating for the rights of refugees to access quality and affordable health care.

The talk has been organized by Forum’s student subcommittee to provide McMaster students from various disciplines the opportunity to gain insights into the issues surrounding immigrant refugee healthcare in Ontario. All students who are interested in healthcare for immigrants and refugees are invited to attend.

Hunter is an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at McMaster University and a consultant pediatrician at McMaster Children’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Healthcare. She is also involved in medical education and curriculum design. Her clinical and research interests include pediatric refugee and immigrant health, social determinants of health, and global child health. She has been involved in coordinating community-based pediatric refugee/immigrant health clinics in Hamilton since 2004, and began a social pediatrics rotation within the McMaster pediatric residency program in 2013. Internationally, she has been involved in ongoing pediatric education programs in Uganda and as co-program director of a pediatric residency program in Guyana.

Inglis has a longstanding interest in global health equity, and has been involved in developing a global health and social medicine curriculum within the MD undergraduate program at McMaster. Her clinical and research interests include refugee health, HIV primary care, health advocacy and social medicine.

Anyone who is interested in attending is asked to reserve a spot by sending an email to, with “Refugee Health” in the subject line.