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Refugee Healthcare Cuts: Why Mobilization Matters and What You Can Do to Join in

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So What Do The Cuts Really Mean?

Despite what Kenney would have us believe, these cuts have already begun to cause irreparable harm. Refugees in Canada belong to two groups: first are the government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees who are deemed refuges on arrival, and second are refugee claimants who come to Canada seeking asylum, often escaping persecution and violence. These cuts to refugee health mean that all refugees, except the government-assisted, will no longer have access to medicines, dental care and vision care –something all provinces provide for low-income people. These cuts also mean refugee claimants from certain countries will get essentially no healthcare whatsoever — once this list of so-called “safe countries” is released, it is widely expected that we will turn our back on Roma refugee claimants from Hungary and other European nations, where clear persecution of this population has been documented by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International. On a human level, what these cuts mean for people is a deterioration in their health status, an increase in fear and vulnerability, as well as on a societal level, an increase in preventable downstream costs for us all.

So What You Can Do?

With so much happening it may seem difficult to get plugged in, but it’s as easy as ever! Below are some easy ways to get involved.

1. Post up your own photo to the We Refuse to Cooperate Campaign.

2. Send Harper 59 cents as part of the 59 cents campaign.

3. Confront a Conservative minister at a public event.

4. If you’re a health provider, use the monitoring tool to document impacts.

5. Get your community group, organization or workplace to sign a letter, write a press release or hold a press conference denouncing these cuts.

6. Contact Jason Kenney, your local MP, and the NDP and Liberal Immigration and Health critics, whose contact information can be found here.

7. Contact your local MPP to discuss how costs will be downloaded to the provinces.

8. Support and promote existing organizations working on these issues such as Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, Health for All, No One is Illegal, Canadian Council for Refugees, Health Justice Collective, Canadian Doctors for Medicare and others.

9. Come up with your own campaign or individual way to show you oppose cuts to refugee health.

10. Sign the petition on Care2.

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Photo credit: Sardar Saadi

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13 comments

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10:36AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Come on Canada, you can do better than this, can't you????????

9:17AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Are we nothing more than the grunts who pay the bills for others? Expendable? No, I don’t think that I’ll be signing anything. I don’t think that I have a problem declining the use of our tax dollars to fund things which my own family cannot afford. Sorry if that sounds churlish..

9:16AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Well, I’m rather torn on this one, altruism aside. It is my understanding, which seems to be confirmed by the following sentence that “These cuts to refugee health mean that all refugees, except the government-assisted, will no longer have access to medicines, dental care and vision care –something all provinces provide for low-income people.” Umm, I’m not sure that I have a problem with that. My great- great grandparents paid taxes in this country their entire lives as did my grandparents, parents , myself and my children. Yet my son cannot afford to go to the dentist or get new eyeglasses. While I too wish that the taxpayers of this country could be a bottomless source of support for the rest of the world, I don’t think that’s really possible. I ask myself why should our tax dollars go to pay for these so called “gold plated” health care items for those who have contributed nothing, while those who are actually supporting the system cannot afford these same “essentials”? Why are they only essential for incoming people and not those already here? “On a human level, what these cuts mean for people is a deterioration in their health status, an increase in fear and vulnerability, as well as on a societal level, an increase in preventable downstream costs for us all.” Why doesn’t this statement apply to those people who are already tax paying citizens of this country? Are we nothing more than the grunts who

4:45AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Noted.

2:11AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

thanks for sharing

6:04PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Ok. I feel like I spent time reading three pages for... What? I really have enough problems with my own health and health care. Sorry, I feel bad for these people.

5:08PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

I am glad people of conscience are speaking up in large numbers and publicly

5:08PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Noted. Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
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