After sparking much controversy by cutting access to healthcare for refugee claimants in Canada, the Conservative government is amending the proposed cuts.
Last month, the government sparked outrage among health professionals and immigrant advocates by announcing that, as of June 30, refugees would no longer receive health care coverage except for extremely “urgent or essential” services. This would mean no more prescription coverage, as well as an end to dental and vision care.
The government has since amended that regulation so that government-sponsored refugees and victims of human smuggling are exempt.
However, critics’ concerns have not been allayed by the move, as it still leaves many categories of asylum-seekers out in the cold, including those refugees from countries that Canada deems “safe,” as well as people whose claims have been denied but have not yet left the country.
Doctors say that the Immigration Minister’s claims to be motivated by an imbalance in the system are contradicted by his own policies that favour certain groups of refugees. Critics are also quick to point out Minister Kenney’s lack of consistency in his new policies.
“This flip flop is a symptom of the fact that we have a minister of immigration who is making it up as he goes along,” said NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims. “It seems all of this is being done on the back of a napkin instead of a thought-out coherent plan.”
Source: Globe and Mail