Don’t Cut Health Care for Refugees In Canada

Target: Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Goal: Don’t slash health care coverage for refugees

Canadians are fighting back against the Harper government’s new proposed bill that would reduce health care coverage for refugees in Canada.  Health care professionals say that the bill strains the resources of those people on the front lines, and other citizens complain that the bill would only save each citizen 59 cents.  Tell Prime Minister Harper that refugees deserve the same care as everyone else.

Bill C-31 would make it so certain refugees only have access to urgent care and completely remove coverage for others waiting to hear about their refugee claim.  Despite the government’s claim that the changes will make it so refugees have the same access as all other Canadians, doctors claim that they will be denied coverage for things like life-saving medication.  Students at one university have started a campaign asking people to send the government 59 cents, which is the money that would be saved by passing the bill.

Doctors and medical students have been conducting sit-ins at federal offices to protest the cuts.  They claim that refugees are high-risk and in desperate need of certain medications.  They decry the bill’s stipulation that refugees would only be able to be treated if they have diseases deemed as “public health risks,” saying that refugees with heart diseases or diabetes could be left without their medications.  The government claims that they are trying to prevent fraud, claiming that people come to Canada claiming to be refugees just to get free healthcare.  Medical professionals find this claim to be ludicrous also.  Tell Prime Minister Harper that the people have spoken and they want healthcare for people who need it, no matter what their status is.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper,

The recent bill proposed by your government that would eliminate healthcare for refugees is a step in the wrong direction.  Ostensibly, your intentions seem valid.  You claim that you want refugees to have the same access to healthcare as all Canadians and that you want to eliminate fraudulent cases where people come to Canada claiming to be refugees so that they can take advantage of free healthcare.  However, medical professionals disagree and find many things wrong with the bill, such as the stipulation that some refugees would only be able to receive care for diseases that are a public health risk.  Doctors claim that refugees would be denied things like insulin or heart medications which, although they are not public health risks, are still life-threatening.

They also think it is absurd that refugees would manipulate their access to free health care to get things like “teeth cleanings.”  Students, too, have spoken out against the planned changes.  One university has started a campaign asking people to send the government 59 cents, which you claim each Canadian will save from the changes.  The Canadian people believe that everyone deserves access to the care that they need.  If you continue with bill C-31, you will be putting yourself at odds with doctors and Canadian citizens.  Please reconsider.


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