U.S. surg­eries on kids from banned coun­tries may come to On­tario

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

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.

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