Saturday, May 12, 2012

Not our Canada

Here are some excerpts from yesterday's coverage of doctors across the country protesting refugee health care cuts. The doctors say it all. This is an incredibly indecent, uncaring and maddening development we are witnessing:
Costs won’t be the only thing that spikes after the cuts are made, according to Tyndall, who says disease rates will increase as well. “This is the worst thing you can do for public safety,” he said. “If you are really concerned that someone from Africa or Asia is going to spread tuberculosis the worst thing you can do is isolate them from health care.”
...
"Does this mean it's OK that a person seeking refuge in Canada dies from heart disease or from untreated diabetes, as long as they don't infect the rest of us with tuberculosis?" asked Dr. Tatiana Friere-Lizama, a perinatologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Friere-Lizama came to Canada as a refugee from Chile when she was seven. She said her family came with nothing but benefited from the country's generosity. "These changes to refugee health are an attack on our beliefs," she said. "As doctors, we've got to speak up for our refugee patients. They deserve to land in a Canada that cares about them."
...
Bruyere Medical Centre family physician Dr. Doug Gruner, who works with a program that helps introduce refugees to the medical system, said much of the care provided to refugees is preventative. "We are saving the system lots and lots of money," said Gruner. "We provide vaccinations. Under minister's Kenney's plan ... vaccinations would not be covered unless they're a public health threat," he said.
...
“This is supposedly a cost-saving measure for the government, but the cost of delaying treatment will result in more emergency visits, more intensive care visits,” said pediatrician Anna Banerji, an Order of Ontario recipient.“They say it’s a deterrent for refugees,” she added. “We have to stop the rhetoric. These refugees are some of the poorest people on earth. They come with the clothes on their backs and they cannot afford to go to see doctors.”
...
“My biggest concern is they won’t have access to medications,” Rashid says. “Some people will get very sick and we hope no one dies from this, but it is certainly a possibility.”