Jan 5, 2016
Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care cheer Liberal government announcement on refugee health care
By: Christopher Holcroft
Toronto, December 16, 2015 – Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care welcomes, with gratitude, the federal Liberal government’s announcement today on the Interim Federal Health Program (IFH). Dropping the previous Conservative government’s reckless appeal of the Federal Court of Canada decision declaring cuts to health care services for refugees as “cruel and unusual” is excellent news for these vulnerable families and their health care providers.
"The dropping of the appeal is the final refutation of the former government's attack on refugees and represents a vindication of Canadian doctors' nearly four year protest against the Conservatives' belligerence and hostility to refugees and their supporters," said Dr. Philip Berger, Medical Director, Inner City Health Program at St. Michael’s Hospital and Co-Chair of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care. “It is a good day.”
The government is also providing health coverage for Syrian refugees who were not covered under the Temporary Health Program that was in place while the government appealed. Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care also welcomes a review of the IFH program to stabilize and modernize it for the future. The organization remains willing to consult with the government during this process.
“The Federal Court's decision now stands as a landmark manifesto which totally rejects stereotypes of refugees and casts aside the former Conservative Government's portrayal of refugees as cheats undeserving of health care instead of people fleeing war and death and in need of our help”, said Dr. Meb Rashid, medical director of the Crossroads Clinic at Women's College Hospital and Co-Chair of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care."
Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care wishes to thank the many physicians, health care workers, and other Canadians who have offered support and provided countless hours of volunteer time to this issue. We wish also to thank the Liberal government, including Ministers McCallum and Philpott who have resolutely committed to restoring important health coverage for refugees. It is a proud day to be Canadian.