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March 15, 2007  Sing Tao Daily

Multicultural Health Fair

The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of B.C. held a Multicultural Health Fair the other day hoping that this event can bridge between new immigrants and local health organizations. Mason Loh, QC and Director of the Affiliation, indicated that there is a perception that new immigrants add an extra burden to the Canadian health system. But the study has indicated this is not so. Immigrants are generally in good health when they first arrive in Canada but over time their health condition gradually deteriorates and falls behind the locals population.

He pointed out there could be three possible causes: first, because new immigrants are not familiar with the medical system in their new location they may not be able to access the system and receive adequate medical services. Second, due to the language barrier the new immigrants may not be aware of the up-to-date medical information. Third, having moved to a new environment new immigrants are constantly faced with the challenges, pressures and stresses of integrating into the new society.

This has been the third time the Affiliation has held this event, but it is the first time the Chinese Medical community is involved.  Many thanks to Mason Loh. He expressed gratitude for the strong support from the Chinese Medicine community, both financially and physically, including having a major display. Through this event the Chinese cultural treasure, Chinese Medicine, can be introduced to other ethnic communities and main stream society. The Affiliation hoped that people of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds can bring their respective cultural strength in medicine to Canadian society so that our medical system can be enriched and enhanced to meet the public needs. The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of B.C. aims to promote multi-culturalism, help new immigrants to integrate into Canadian society, and encourage exchanges in order to improve mutual understanding and a harmonious society. The Affiliation is made up of more than 80 immigrant service organizations and multi-cultural societies, including S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

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