News release

Webinar on June 15, 2021@ 12 - 2 pm EDT: Migrant and Mobile Workers’ Access to Healthcare

Return to Work Policy and Practice

Migrant and Mobile Workers' Access to Healthcare. Presented by Dr. Janet McLaughlin, Associate Professor at Wilfred Laurier University and Dr. Elise Thorburn, Medical Student at Memorial University. June 15th, from noon to 2 pm. EDT. Return to Work Policy & Practice logo.

Webinar: Migrant and Mobile Workers’ Access to Healthcare


What health care challenges do mobile workers and migrant agricultural workers face and what strategies can be used to overcome them?


Date and time: Tuesday June 15th from noon to 2 p.m. EDT

Description: What are the health challenges of those engaged in « mobile » work? What difficulties arise when care providers treat these workers and how can we improve primary care provision? What health care barriers do migrant agricultural workers face and what strategies can be used to overcome them?

Join Dr. Elise Thorburn and Dr. Janet McLaughlin, as they examine these questions and share the results of their respective research.

Registration: This is a free webinar open to the public. Registration is required. Please complete the online registration form and a confirmation email containing the webinar login details will be sent to you. For assistance, please contact



Katherine Lippel, Distinguished Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety Law, University of Ottawa, Law Faculty, Civil Law section

Presentation title: A Going Concern: Healthcare Provision and Mobile Workers

Dr. Elise Thorburn, Medical Student, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Those engaged in « mobile » work (extended commutes and rotational work) have found particular health challenges emerging. Work does impact health, and these impacts have become especially stark during the Covid 19 pandemic. This presentation will discuss the results of qualitative research conducted with mobile workers about the impacts of their jobs and their commutes, alongside insights gleaned from treating mobile workers in the primary care settings of rural and urban Emergency Departments and family physicians’ offices. In so doing, this presentation highlights difficulties that arise for care providers and suggests areas for improvements in primary care provision.

Presentation title: Health Care Barriers for Migrant Agricultural Workers and Strategies to Overcome Them

Dr. Janet McLaughlin, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health, Wilfrid Laurier University, & Research Associate, International Migration Research Centre; Co-Founder of the Migrant Worker Health Project and the Migrant Worker Health Expert Working Group (

Description: Over 50,000 migrant workers, primarily from Mexico and the Caribbean, come to Canada each year to work in agriculture. Facing numerous social determinants of health issues that place them at heightened risk of illness and injury, they also experience unique barriers to accessing healthcare and workers’ compensation. These issues have only been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which migrant agricultural workers have experienced disproportionately high levels of infection. This presentation will provide an overview of the key barriers to healthcare and workers’ compensation for this population and offer examples of innovative solutions that help to address them.


Organized as part of the Policy and Practice in Return to Work after a Work Injury: Challenging Circumstances and Innovative Solutions research program at University of Ottawa.