Michael asks government to show compassion for refugees
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) has written to the premier asking for refugees in this province to have access to medical care.
Last Friday (July 4) the federal government announced it would
appeal the federal court decision which condemned the changes made to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for refuges in 2012. Judge Anne Mactavish in her ruling found the federal government’s treatment of refugees “cruel and unusual,” and was, says Michael, “unequivocal in her statements regarding how refugee claimants’ lives are being jeopardized.”
When the federal government initially downsized the IFHP in 2012,
Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec found varying solutions to fill the void. Alberta provides health insurance card, medications for chronic disease and pregnancy, dental care and vision care. Ontario provides all refugee claimants with primary health care, urgent care and medication coverage.
“We have done nothing here,” Michael says in her letter, “even though the Minister of Health and Community Services at the time assured us that the Department was looking into it.” She is asking the premier to provide MCP cards, dental and eye care, and prescription coverage to refugee claimants.
“There is such small number of refugees in this province – an average of eight to 10 a year,” said Michael. “I have called upon the premier to do the just, fair and humanitarian thing: Show the refugees who find themselves in this province that we care about them as human beings, and give them a reason to want to stay here.”