Over the next year, more than 400,000 immigrants will enter Canada to study, start new businesses, and grow Canada’s workforce and economy. Whether you’re an international student or a foreign skilled worker applying for permanent residency, all newcomers must go through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) application process. Among other requirements, newcomers also have to complete a medical exam as part of their application.
“The purpose of the medical exam is to help identify public health issues, public safety concerns or medical problems that may need health or social services,” explains Dr. Danny Chan, Panel physician at Immigration Medical Toronto, an immigration medical clinic that has been in the Greater Toronto Area for more than 30 years.
Immigration medical exams are performed by Panel physicians – medical doctors who are appointed by the IRCC. The examination includes a discussion of your medical history, a physical exam, followed by a chest x-ray, blood test, and urine test depending on the applicant’s age.
Simplifying the immigration process
While the immigration process can be stressful, Immigration Medical Toronto ensures that the medical exam is as smooth as possible for newcomers. The clinic has two locations in downtown Toronto and East York, both easily accessible by public transportation. The clinics also have extended evening and weekend hours for added convenience. All medical tests can be completed in a single visit within the same building to help streamline the process.
Knowing that English may be a second language for many immigrants, Immigration Medical Toronto offers services in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. “Speaking their language makes the medical exam process a lot easier and more comfortable for newcomers,” adds Dr. Chan. Services in other languages are also available through translator services.
Immigration Medical Toronto offers an all-digital service for newcomers. The clinics are fully e-Medical enabled, which means test results are expedited to the government. Reports are submitted within10 days to help move the immigration process forward. Plus, patients can book appointments online at their convenience, in their language of choice.
Giving newcomers the right care and treatment
The goal of the immigration medical exam is for the IRCC to ensure newcomers meet the medical standards of admissibility. However, Immigration Medical Toronto goes one step beyond. Occasionally, the Panel physicians may pick up serious underlying health issues such as heart disease, HIV, or tuberculosis.
“Navigating our healthcare system is often very challenging for newcomers. When we discover a medical condition, we help coordinate their care locally and refer to specialists if necessary so they can receive the proper care and treatment,” says Dr. Chan. “Our goal isn’t to approve or reject applicants, but rather help them navigate the healthcare system, in addition to the immigration system.”