Our reporting indicates a wide cross section of refugees being denied access to health care, with pregnant women and their babies being particularly impacted. Newly arrived refugees do not qualify for health care coverage for many weeks after making a claim. Many women are not receiving appropriate care for their pregnancy as a result. Six such cases have been seen at one small clinic alone in the last three months. The lengthy waiting period for coverage also affects refugees arriving from areas where they have been exposed to a myriad of health risks.
Another troubling finding is that many clinics and hospitals are refusing care to refugees because of a lack of clarity around IFH coverage rules and the inability of the government’s private sector insurance company, Blue Cross, to provide definitive information. In a separate survey of 30 walk-in clinics in the Toronto area, only five could clearly state they were accepting IFH coverage for refugees and understood the new rules.The doctors cite some specific examples, such as these:
· A young female refugee claimant is 18 weeks pregnant as a result of a sexual assault while being used as a sexual slave. She has no IFH coverage to address the pregnancy.
· A refugee claimant, 32 weeks pregnant, presents at two emergency rooms suffering from lower abdominal pain. On both occasions she is told that she would have to sign a document stating that she would be responsible for the costs of her visit. She leaves the emergency room on both occasions without being seen.Read on for a host of other shameful examples courtesy of your Harper government.