Responsive primary health care systems and services must be at once complex and nimble. Policy makers may wish to believe that existing health systems effectively care for all populations equally, including refugees. However, we know that refugees may require a health equity approach: an approach where all levels of government, all types of health practitioners, and even the public sector, participate to ensure access to effective primary health care.
This article outlines some of Canada’s healthcare responses for refugee populations. We provide field examples and guidelines that demonstrate responses, as well as ongoing inconsistencies and limitations. Refugee-receiving countries such as Australia, the US and Canada all have stories of success in resettlement and health systems. This article will focus on Canada.