U.S. surgeries on kids from banned countries may come to Ontario
Ontario is making arrangements to provide care for children from countries affected by U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban who can no longer receive life-saving surgeries in America.
Health Minister Eric Hoskins said it has come to the government’s attention that some of these children are being turned away solely because of where they were born.
“We’re fortunate here in Ontario to have such high-quality pediatric specialists and hospitals so we have the technical ability to help and it seemed natural almost,” he said. “This is what Canada believes in, helping where we can, helping vulnerable children from around the world.”
Trump’s executive order — issued last Friday — temporarily bans travel for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. It also temporarily halts the U.S. refugee program.
Surgeons in the United States approached colleagues at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and told them they had to cancel surgeries for children coming from those countries, Hoskins said.
Sick Kids then reached out to the Ontario government, which Hoskins said is working to facilitate any surgeries that can be performed here. He has also spoken to Ottawa, which has indicated it is ready to help to potentially expedite visas for the children and their families.
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario is also able to provide specialized pediatric care, he added.