Canadian Medical Students Publish Book Advocating for Immigrant and Refugee Health

CALGARY, Nov. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Medical Students/Fédération des étudiants et des étudiantes en médicine du Canada (CFMS/FEMC) announced the publication of a new book on Thursday, November 29th, 2012 - 12 Stories. Narratives From New Canadians, highlighting the importance of supporting new immigrant and refugee health within Canada. The book shares the real-life health care experiences of those who have recently come to Canada, comparing them to experiences in their previous countries, and discussing the challenges of re-settling.

The book, written by University of Calgary medical students Kimberly Golding Williams and Lynn Peterson, was created as an advocacy tool in response to cuts made to the Interim Federal Health Program by the Government of Canada in mid-2012. The book also collects ideas on refugee and immigrant health from medical students from around the globe, including Germany, New Zealand and Sudan.

"We collected these stories to show how important it is that access to quality health care for these Canadians is protected," said Williams, who is also the Vice-President of Global Health for the CFMS. "Beyond being an issue of fundamental equity, we rely on these Canadians, economically and culturally, to help sustain and support the nation that we are all so proud of. As medical students and future physicians, we're worried that these benefits will slip away if we don't ensure that these vulnerable individuals get the health care they need."

The book is already garnering wide attention within the medical community, having been adopted as mandatory reading at the 2012 Queen's Health and Human Rights Conference and presented at the 2012 Canadian Conference on Global Health. The CFMS plans to distribute copies of the book to MP's, Cabinet Ministers and senior bureaucrats within the federal government in the immediate future. A copy of the book can be downloaded from the CFMS website at

"Decision-makers need to hear directly from the people who these decisions affect in order to truly understand what is at stake," said Peterson. "We're ringing the alarm on the potential human costs of these cuts."

The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) is a national organization that represents over 7500 medical students at 14 medical schools across Canada.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Medical Students

For further information:

Miriam (Mimi) Lermer, Vice President Communications
Canadian Federation of Medical Students
Fédération des étudiants et des étudiantes en médicine du Canada
Cell: (778) 994-9481 •

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