Refugee Health Clinic



Since 2008, The Centre for Family Medicine Refugee Health Clinic (part of the McMaster medical school teaching satellite) has worked closely with the Region of Waterloo’s Reception House, seeing almost all Government Assisted Refugees (GAR’s) in the region.  In 2016 we screened about 800 individuals.

We generally concentrated on GAR’s and in rare cases, we saw some Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSR’s).  We also saw some denied claimants in a church sanctuary.

When we began, the main issue identified was being able to find family doctors comfortable with refugee health issues. Working with external collaborators, we developed protocols for a screening clinic, reasoning that this would help make family doctors more comfortable seeing these patients.


Currently our Refugee Health Clinic operates every Thursday at our 25 Joseph Street location. We are staffed with Nurse Practitioners, nursing, and access to other health professionals within our team.

A Bit More About Our Approach

We are working collaboratively with many partners within the KW4 OHT, as we understand that attachment to primary care in the KW community continues to be a challenge for our newcomers (and non-newcomers) to our community.

We work closely with Reception House to provide primary care in a temporary capacity for the most complex refugees in terms of medical and social needs.