Canadians Fighting Back on Cuts to Refugee Health Care
Across the country, people are fighting back against the Harper government’s bill C-31 — a move to cut temporary health care provided to refugee claimants while they wait for a decision on their claim. The changes would mean that some refugees would only have access to urgent care, and some would have no health care at all, unless they have a disease that could endanger the public at large.
The Minister of Immigration says the changes mean that no refugee will have access to better health care than the average Canadian, but doctors are speaking out, saying that the bill puts lives at risk by taking away access to life-saving medication in some cases.
At the Canadian Mennonite University, students have started a campaign asking Canadians to send the Prime Minister 59 cents – the estimated amount that each taxpayer will save annually because of this program cut.
Meanwhile, doctors and medical students have spoken out, including interrupting a press conference being held by Minister Joe Oliver, to speak out against the changes. That doctor promised that there would be more disruptions and they will continue to denounce the cuts. The medical student at the Oliver presser, Faria Kamal, said she was a first generation Canadian and that she was there to speak out because it’s the only platform they have left since the Conservative government has ignored the medical community at every turn.
“We are the ones that will deal with the front line repercussions of these cuts,” she says.
If they won’t listen to the medical community warning them about the risk they’re causing to people’s lives, maybe when the Tory offices start receiving masses of quarters, nickels and pennies they’ll start to understand.
Photo Credit: Amy Boughner