Canadian Doctors for Medicare joins advocates across Canada in commending the federal government’s commitment to restoring health services for refugees.
Canada’s single-payer, universal health care program was created to provide health services based on need, not ability to pay. Having healthcare for refugees be a required component of Medicare means that we are giving people who are fleeing violence, terror and persecution a level of healthcare similar to many in Canada. Reinstating care to the standard outlined in the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) will emphasize Canadian Medicare’s capacity to provide equitable access to quality health care to all who need it.
The previous government’s decision to cut refugee health care in 2012 undermined the central tenets of Medicare and established varying levels of healthcare. The cuts put many health care providers in the impossible position of having to either refuse care to people who are ill or risk contravening federal regulations — and forced patients to make difficult decisions about whether they would be able to pay for the care they received, or whether to seek care at all
Our organization applauds the Minister of Immigration John McCallum for addressing restoration of the IFHP so quickly. We are optimistic it will be implemented soon, to address the needs of refugees and those seeking status in Canada, as well as the anticipated influx of refugees from Syria.
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For more information, please contact:
Communications and Outreach Officer
Canadian Doctors for Medicare