Member of Parliament John McCallum (Markham-Unionville) recently denounced the unusual changes to the Federal Interim Health Program which has affected the lives of refugees in Canada.
McCallum and colleagues, Kirsty Duncan, Dr. Jane Philpott, were participants in a roundtable discussion in Toronto, attended by 25 community stakeholders, discussing the Conservative government’s health care cuts.
The Federal Court agreed and ruled on July 4, that denying refugees access to health care amounted to “cruel and unusual” treatment.
Likewise, members of the medical community explained how the cuts have caused widespread confusion among doctors who now have to ascertain what kind or refugee a patient is before deciding whether or not they can be treated. In addition, doctors pointed out that denying refugees access to primary care posed a danger to public health.
Former refugees also denounced the cuts explaining how they feel discriminated against because of their country of origin. Another refugee spoke of how the stigma of being a refugee never goes away and why a country like Canada can treat them this way.
McCallum said that Canada should be a place where a refugee can find safety and a fair chance at becoming a productive citizen. He opined that the Conservatives should drop their appeal of the Federal Court’s decision and let vulnerable people have access to the health care they need.