Canadian Medical-Legal Partnerships target SickKids

Canada has embraced the US medical-legal partnership model, with a partnership in Ontario between The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO). The Family Legal Health Program, which has been going for three years, is soon to be joined by a similar program at the London’s Children’s Hospital and in Ontario’s two other kids’ hospitals in Hamilton and Ottawa.

Reported in The Star on 23 January 2012, Attorney Lee Ann Chapman explained how “Having a sick child can bring about a domino effect… . Families sometimes let important, practical issues slide because they’re so focused on their child’s health. Often they have no idea of their rights and have never had access to legal information.

The program is yet another example of multi-disciplinary practice, and, collaboration between a range of legal service providers – PBLO and their funder, the Law Society of Upper Canada, and private law firms undertaking pro bono work (Torkin Manes and McMillan). The SickKids/PBLO partnership has reportedly already helped more than 1,000 families to access justice.

Full Story in The Star

Peter Noble

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