Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFH)
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney has added Mexico, Israel, Japan, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland to the 27 countries already on the DCO. These are countries the Minister has deemed “safe” and not traditionally refugee-producing. Access Alliance joins other front-line agencies that serve refugees in urging the Government to remove Mexico from the DCO with immediate effect. It also calls on the Government to reverse its draconian cuts to refugee health care.
The full list of countries can be found here.
Read the media release dated February 17, 2013.
What are the changes to IFH?
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has made changes to the IFH program which cut certain health benefits provided to refugees. These changes took effect on June 30, 2012. It is important for organizations providing care to refugees to understand the changes and to have a plan of action for all service providers to be able to continue to see patients effected by these changes. Extended health care is being cut for many refugees. This means that there will be no more medication coverage, vision coverage (assessment and glasses), dental coverage or special devices coverage (wheelchairs, prostheses, orthotics, etc.) through IFH. Access Alliance has prepared a document (see below) to clarify the impact these changes may have. The changes are outlined on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
What can you do?
- Contact your local MP to voice your opposition to the refugee health care cuts.
- Call or write the Minister Jason Kenney at (613) 992-2235 / firstname.lastname@example.org to express your opposition to the federal government's cuts to health care services for refugees.
- Use social media to spread the word. On Twitter, use the hashtags #refugeehealth and #IFHP to join the conversation.
CLEO information for frontline workers: http://refugee.cleo.on.ca
National Day of Action for Refugee Health
On Monday June 18th, in cities across Canada, physicians and other health care workers opposed to cutting health services for refugees participated in a day of action.
The latest efforts of doctors are to document examples of the impact the IFH cuts will have on people. Search for Not The Canada I Know on YouTube.com to see the videos.
Media Contact: Vera Kevic, Public Relations and Communications Officer. email@example.com or 647-459-3677