Ontario to provide surgeries for kids affected by U.S. travel ban - Macleans.ca

Ontario to provide surgeries for kids affected by U.S. travel ban

Surgeons in U.S. approached colleagues at Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, which then prompted government to act


Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TORONTO – Ontario is making arrangements to provide care for children from countries affected by the U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban who can no longer receive life-saving surgeries in America.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins said it has come to the government’s attention that some of these children are being turned away solely because of where they were born.

“We’re fortunate here in Ontario to have such high-quality pediatric specialists and hospitals so we have the technical ability to help and it seemed natural almost,” he said. “This is what Canada believes in, helping where we can, helping vulnerable children from around the world.”

Trump’s executive order – issued last Friday – temporarily bans travel for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. It also temporarily halts the U.S. refugee program.

Surgeons in the U.S. approached colleagues at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and told them they had to cancel surgeries for children coming from those countries, Hoskins said.

Sick Kids then reached out to the Ontario government, which Hoskins said is working to facilitate any surgeries that can be performed here. He has also spoken to the federal government, which has indicated it is ready to help to potentially expedite visas for the children and their families, Hoskins said.

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario is also able to provide specialized pediatric care, he added.

“Given that this is a critical time for these ill children, our ministry and Ontario’s specialized children’s hospitals, which provide best-in-the-world care feel the responsibility to act quickly,” Hoskins said.

It’s not known yet how many children the support would cover, Hoskins said, but at this early stage Sick Kids has received “several” requests.

Ontario already has programs in place to provide health care on a humanitarian basis, Hoskins said.

“We do it from time to time in different ways, so we’re confident we have the ability to provide Sick Kids with whatever support they would need,” he said.


Ontario to provide surgeries for kids affected by U.S. travel ban

  1. Now THIS is a Canadian value!

    Up yours Kellie Leitch

    • Way to step up Ontario!

      Now if we could only look after our own. My neighbour pays $2400/month to big pharma for life saving medicine (not covered in Ontario) for their child’s illness. Where’s the Canadian values in that?

      • So stop whining and do something about it.

        • You can be so insensitive Emily. Where’s your Canadian values? Do you love putting people and situations down?!?

          Now who says our neighborhood has not down something? You??? Where in the world do you get your cockmamie ideas from? MPPs have been contacted, fundraising has helped, private health insurance has been considered and the Trillium fund is a possibility.

          It’s wonderful that Ontario possesses the means and skills to reach out to foreign kid’s who need real medical assistance. Let’s not stop there and let’s provide for our own who’s parents and neighbours pay taxes to this very Province.

          • Canadians are realists, not ‘sensitive’

            We learned by trapping and hunting in our frozen north….we learned that we had to help each other in order to make it. That’s not ‘touchy-feely’ hon….that’s survival.

            I said YOU should do something other than your usual whining.

            Yet….here you still are.

        • Almost EVERY tourist guide warns that Canadian’s are overly sensitive. Realists – HAH! We are lead by a PM who wrote the book on empty posturing. We are NOT realists — even the slightest. But I guess that’s just my opinion.

          Believe me — I’ve traveled the world many times. The world thinks we are very polite — but overly sensitive.

          You want realism? Just got through the list I mentioned below. Applying for Trillium funding — now there’s where you face the realism of a hostile Provincial government.

          • Time to take your pills