A look back on the Refugee and Asylum Seekers Clinic in 2021

August 16, 2023

The clinic experienced more than more than 2000 visits with 100 new patients and 710 registered patients.


Dr. Ludovic Delabie continued to see a large number of patients in 2021- 2022, despite the COVID pandemic. This clinic experienced more than more than 2000 visits with 100 new patients and 710 registered patients.

During this second difficult pandemic year, mental health issues were more apparent as patients experienced increased isolation. This group of patients, part of a disadvantaged and highly vulnerable group, already have a much higher prevalence of untreated mental illness. Traumatic events experienced vary widely but can include social upheaval, sexual violence, witnessing or experiencing murder or genocide, loss of loved ones, fear over lack of safety and food insecurity.

The most common mental health diagnoses in the refugee population tend to be post-traumatic health disorders, generalized anxiety, panic disorders and adjustment disorders. This clinic found that 26% of all patients have on-going post traumatic stress disorders and 22%were experiencing depression. Overall, 94% are considered "vulnerable" patients. Of these, 34%are diabetic, 11% have cardiac disease, 3% have active cancer and 5.7% are single mothers.

Patients live in the following areas: 44% are from the CIUSSS Centre West, 36% from the CIUSSS de l'Ouest Île de Montréal and the balance are living off of the island of Montreal. The majority (58%)
of patients are from Africa with 24% from theAmericas and 18% from South East Asia.

Most of the patients are self-referred or come from PRAIDA (Programme Régional D'Accueil etD’intégration de Demandeurs D'Asile) which is the regional program for the settlement and integration of Asylum Seekers. A major objective of the clinic is the intake of vulnerable patients as soon as they enter Canada. Registration of new patients was significantly lower than the previous year as borders were temporarily closed due to COVID.At present, with the borders re-opened, the clinic accepts 4 new patients a week from PRAIDA, which identify the most vulnerable.

We thank Dr. Delabie and the Medical Specialists Clinic team for their continued efforts in providing this wonderful service to the community.