Model Schools Paediatric Healthcare Initiative
Bringing Healthcare to Our Children
Thousands of children in our city do not have a family doctor and for basic health care depend on emergency rooms and overcrowded walk-in clinics. For new Canadian families in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas* language barriers often prevent them from even understanding where to get medical help for their children. Added to this is the grim reality that many parents do not have paid sick days and often lose wages if they take time off. For some this means a choice between paying the rent and the health of their children.
The Model Schools Paediatric Health Initiative (MSPHI) brings medical clinics to the place parents trust the most: their local schools and makes it easier for children to access needed healthcare. Our first clinic opened in November 2010 with the help of private and public partners. During a regular school year, MSPHI clinics serve children right in their schools. A large portion of these children did not have a family doctor and many had no health cards. MSPHI clinics provide an entry to point to a complex medical system for many children and their parents.
With services offered in more than 12 languages and referrals to medical professionals and connections to community health centers, these clinics are invaluable to ensuring our children have the care they need, when they need it. And, we always follow-up to make sure that the children attend their appointments. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the program is currently on hiatus. We look forward to resuming the program when it is safe to do so, and we will need your help to keep the doors open. To keep our children healthy, click here and donate today.
* The City of Toronto has identified 31 neighbourhoods in Toronto for targeted investment and support. The lack of services facing many of Toronto’s inner suburban neigbourhoods is a major barrier to opportunity for many people particularly newcomers and youth.
A six-year-old boy new to Canada was having recurring pain and had little appetite for food. He had these health problems for years but in his country of birth his family couldn’t get him a medical check-up or proper health care. He attended his school clinic where he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is now receiving the care he deserves.
A young girl with blurred vision went to the school-based clinic to have a check-up. It was discovered that she had high blood pressure and was stressed out studying for examinations. All of this made it difficult to get her school work done and her grades were low. She didn’t have a family doctor so the clinic arranged for follow-up checks and treatment and also gave her the tools to change her lifestyle. She is now coping with her anxiety and stress levels in a much better way and her grades have greatly improved!