450 km by car for a 30-minute exam

Migrants awaiting permanent residence are forced to travel up to 450 kilometers to pass a mandatory 30-minute medical examination due to a lack of space in Quebec clinics within the time limits set by immigration.

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“We called the full list of doctors in Quebec, but nowhere. We searched in Ottawa even though it was 4:30 a.m. from home and we had an appointment in four days,” says Charlotte Cannes Benneteau, a nursery teacher of French origin who lives in Quebec with her husband and their two daughters.

Like them, all people who apply for permanent residence, or who come to work in the health sector or with children and adolescents, must undergo a medical examination within 30 days.

Over the past few weeks, it has been impossible to get an appointment on time, even though 43 IRCC-appointed doctors practice in Quebec. They are the only ones who can perform the required medical examinations.

The federal institution claims to “implement solutions to maintain and improve customer service,” adding that a new clinic was recently designated to accommodate immigrants for medical exams.

So many invitations

For Etienne Grandin, an immigration consultant, the prolonged delay in getting the medical examination may be due to the sudden processing of many files.

“There were a lot of invitations for a medical visit sent out at the same time, and that creates a big queue. It’s hell all over in Quebec,” he believes.

As a result, many people decided to cross the Ontario border and go to Ottawa.

But these trips are not without consequences.

“We lost two days of work, not counting gas and hotel rentals,” the master laments.I Cancy Benito.

Confirmed by several clinics in Ontario and Quebec Journal This demand is on the rise.

At the Industrial and Preventive Medicine Clinic in Quebec, in Montreal, we’re seeing high demand for some time, assures a staff member.

“We try to respond as best we can and make appointments within 30 days,” she says.

In Ontario, pressure is beginning to be felt in some clinics.

“Over the course of three weeks, we’ve had a lot of requests from people who live in Quebec,” says an employee at the Immigration Physicians Clinic in Ottawa.

Same story by Immigration Doctors Ottawa.

“People can’t get appointments in Montreal, for example, so the closest destination is Ottawa,” adds one curator.

450 km

Hakim Hafeez, who works in digital marketing, did not want to take the risk when he saw on various social media forums the complexity of getting to meet a licensed doctor in Quebec.

“Despite the language barrier, I immediately decided to follow the advice of other immigrants and in just three days I had an appointment [à Ottawa] ‘, he explains.

The same goes for Gwenel Ariensma, who preferred to travel from Quebec with her husband and three children.

“We could have made an appointment on schedule, but since everything takes time, we didn’t want to take the risk,” explains the Quebec-based mom.

victim of delay

For others, it is impossible to travel to the country’s capital for this 30-minute meeting.

I have until August 28 to pass the medical examination. I called all the clinics in Montreal, and the closest I found was September 6, “says Gwen Berthelot, a French community worker. In many clinics, it was impossible to make an appointment before September 15.”

He hopes his file will not be penalized for this issue, even if IRCC warns in the rules.

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