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Court Upholds Ruling to Reinstate Refugee Health Care

November 4, 2014

Toronto - Health for All welcomes the Federal Court of Appeal's decision to uphold a ruling from earlier this summer demanding that the Conservative government reverse its ‘cruel and unusual’ cuts to refugee health care.

On October 31st, Judge Wyman Webb rejected the government’s request to delay reinstating the Interim Federal Health Program, leaving Ottawa until November 4th to restore access to the benefits.

“For two years, health and social service providers as well as community members have voiced their opposition to the Conservative government’s cuts to refugee health care. We are pleased to see the court stand by its decision to force the government into action." said Melanie Spence, a member of Health for All.

Since the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program were announced two years ago, many refugees and refugee claimants have experienced denial of service and delays in care, with negative consequences to their health.

“The cuts to refugee health care are not in keeping with a universal health care system,” said Faraz Vahid Shahidi, another member of Health for All. “We see the court’s ruling as one more step towards providing all people in Canada access to health care, regardless of their immigration status.”

The refugee health care cuts are just one example of the Conservative government’s targeted denial of health and social services to migrants in Canada. It is estimated that 500 000 people in Canada live without health insurance due to their immigration status.

Health for All is a grassroots organization fighting for health for all, irrespective of immigration status. We are a multidisciplinary group of migrants, health care professionals, students, activists and allies. We believe health is a fundamental human right and a matter of social justice. We call for access to health care for all people without fear of debt, denial of service, detention or deportation.

For more information contact:
Melanie Spence
Health for All
Phone: 416-726-1840

Faraz Vahid Shahidi
Health for All
Phone: 905-484-0570


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