Public Health Speaks

Team members: Girly Joy Abasta (SFU Master of Public Health Program)

Public Health Speaks’ vision is to empower and engage the community in making informed choices about their health through effective health promotion, information dissemination, and community partnerships.

Canadian employees hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to fill in labour gaps in both skilled and low skilled trades. Although TFWs play a significant role in Canada’s economy, they have remained an invisible and underpaid human resource who often work in precarious conditions and are subject to different labour laws and regulations than permanent residents and citizens. Although employers are required to provide health care coverage for their TFW employees, these workers have limited access to health care due to the bureaucratic challenges and delays they face in obtaining their health cards. Many do not seek health care because of a lack of familiarity with Canadian health care system, working long hours, having language and cultural barriers to more information, and with limited knowledge about their rights in accessing health care.

Public Health Speaks is seeking to bridge the informational gap. Guided by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion strategies and Stanford’s Equity-Centred Design framework, this project aims to (a) empower individuals to make informed choices about their health & safety by bridging the knowledge gaps about the healthcare system; (b) orient the intended population to existing community health services and resources; and (c) help reduce possible overcapacity in Emergency Departments and emergency lines.