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Samir: 12 year old denied coverage

 These cases are drawn from CCRIHC’s medical charts and patients experience. The Names of the victims and other identifying information appearing in our media has been changed to protect them from further harm or abuse.  Many of them have suffered horribly on treacherous refugee journeys and may be still in danger. 

Samir and his mother arrived in Canada from Afghanistan as permanent residents. Samir was 12 when he saw his father killed in the Afghan conflict. He and his mother came to Canada with the help of Canadian soldiers who rescued them, and our embassy. Their access to Canadian health insurance was denied for 90 days.

Samir’s neighbours bought him a gift to welcome him to Canada. It was a new bike. Samir fell off his bike and broke his arm. The Emergency Department in Toronto refused to see him unless they were paid $500. His mother didn’t have $500. She took her son home to the apartment and waited for the arm to heal. It didn’t, and in fact, worsened. He could not attend his first week of school in Canada.

When he came to us his arm was swollen, painful and deformed. Our volunteer doctors took Samir to the Emergency Room and demanded he receive care. His arm healed and his pain stopped. Samir came back to visit and show us his cast. It was signed by all his new classmates. Our doctors and nurses signed it too.

Help Newcomers like Samir get the care they need.