Umbrella Mobile Clinic
Approximately 4,000 temporary foreign farm workers come to the Lower Mainland each year from countries such as Mexico and Guatemala. Their tremendous contribution to BC’s local food systems entitles them to the basic health and safety standards of BC. This can be complicated though. The workers have very little free time to visit a health clinic, and when they do find time, most clinics are already closed. The farms where they work and live on are far from public transportation, so it may take many hours to reach a clinic. Should they find a clinic open during their off hours, not being able to communicate in English can result in serious problems.
Umbrella Mobile Clinic therefore provides a service specially targeted to the unique needs of temporary foreign farm workers. The first clinic was launched in June 2011.
What is the Umbrella Mobile Clinic?
The Umbrella Mobile Clinic is a confidential, independent, not-for-profit health service, and it operates from a converted van that travels throughout the Fraser Valley providing Spanish language medical services to temporary foreign farm workers. It is staffed by a BC licensed physician or a licensed Nurse Practitioner, a bilingual and bicultural health broker and various volunteers.
Originally pilot funded by the Vancouver Foundation, the Umbrella Mobile Clinic now operates on billing revenue, fundraising and private donations. Like most medical clinics, we bill the medical insurance company for our services, so patients do not need to pay to us. At the visit they only need to provide their health insurance information.
How to Get Involved
To get involved with your time and expertise, please visit our volunteering page for our current volunteer opportunities with the Umbrella Mobile Clinic.
Another way to get involved is by helping us achieve our goal of acquiring our own vehicle that will be converted into a mobile medical clinic. We greatly appreciate any donations, and charitable tax receipts will be provided.