Ottawa will cut Refugees Health care benefits

Thousands of refugees will be stripped of health care coverage from 1st July, 2012. Unless their health conditions pose a threat to public health. This was published in an article in the star by Nicholas Keung. Presently, all refugees are covered by the Interim Federal Health Coverage (IFHC), which provides basic health services to refugees who otherwise do not qualify for provincial or territorial health insurance benefit. It also provides supplementary health benefits like pharma care, dentistry, vision care. These benefits are only effected till 30th June, 2012. Whereas from 1st July, 2012 there will be a reformed program which will end the supplementary health benefits. Immunization and medication may be provided where it is danger to public health.

Jason Kenney, Immigration minister said he will establish a safe country list which will speed up the processing of claims from these countries. The list will be established depending on the Designated country of Origin (DOC) and non-designated country of origin (non- DCO). The services covered under the reformed IFHC will depend on the category claimant belong to at that time.

The government’s main objective behind the reformed program is to protect the health and safety of Canada. Some critics believe this change to be illogical and discriminatory. Some doctors in Ottawa too believe this change could not be a cost saver. I too believe that this change should not be executed as it will be against humanity. Although the ministers views are admirable,  it really can hurt the feelings of thousands of refugees who go to Canada in the hope of better future for themselves as well as their family. Which would ultimately not result for the betterment of the nation?

The other point that government highlighted was that it wanted to wisely spend the tax dollars. The government needs to make reforms in insurance regularity board of Canada instead of restricting health benefits. According to a release, the new change will save governments $100 million. On the other hand it will leads to unnecessary deaths. The government cannot be so mean and unethical that in order to save tax it puts thousands of lives at stake.

Poonam Mann
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku



Cuts to refugee health insurance dangerous, inhumane, doctors say

CIC website

Leave a reply