Pop quiz: who wrote this: “Our government expects – as do health care providers – that this change will exacerbate the health conditions of patients with chronic conditions and those who are at risk of developing such conditions. In addition, given preventative care is less costly that emergency or acute care treatment, your policy represents a significant download to provinces and especially Ontario, where the vast majority of refugee claimants reside.” If you guessed Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews, you’d be correct. Matthews’ wrote Federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in December over the impact of cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program for refugees. Tomorrow (Wednesday) opponents of the federal cuts will be meeting outside of Deb Matthews’ downtown Toronto office to ask Ontario to have a heart and provide stop-gap coverage for these disenfranchised refugees left without coverage. Demo starts at 11:30 am near Bay and Wellesley Streets in Toronto.
Windsor Regional Hospital is closing its long-standing Acute Injuries Rehabilitation and Evaluation Centre after the facility lost $300,000 last year. Once a revenue-generator for the hospital, the centre provides assessment and treatment services to people injured in automobile accidents or on the job. Revenues came from WSIB and other private insurance providers. The hospital claims two other private centres have meant that this insurance work done by the hospital has “dried up.” Curiously Windsor lawyer Suzanne Dajczak told the CBC that the closure would mean costs would shift to the patients. “When you’re injured, you’re under stress, finances generally are cut – in the cases that I see, substantially. They usually come when they’re denied and, yes, they’re going to struggle, and it’s going to be more difficult for injured workers” (Emphasis added). Is Ms. Dajczak suggesting that these private clinics may be less supportive of injured worker claims than the public hospital?
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Tagged Andrea Horwath, Cindy Forster, Deb Matthews, Interim Federal Health program, Jason Kenney, Jim Bradley, Kensington Eye Clinic, Kensington Screening Clinic, Kevin Smith, Liberal Leadership, Niagara Health System, Ontario Health Minister, Quinte Health Care, Sandra Pupatello, Suzanne Dajczak, Tim Hudak, Windsor Regional Hospital
Even right-wing Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall thinks it’s wrong.
Recent cuts to the Interim Federal Health program for refugees have led to a storm of criticism by the medical community and provincial politicians across Canada.
While Immigration Minister Jason Kenney defends the cuts, stating excluded refugees will still receive essential care, a man was denied chemotherapy in Saskatchewan under the new rules and doctors are alleging more individuals in need are being turned away.
The Saskatchewan government stepped in and paid for the chemotherapy the Federal government denied. Wall told the National Post “it’s unbelievable that some of the decisions that have been taken federally are having this impact on people who are clearly the most vulnerable, refugees who are obviously fleeing something quite terrible – that’s why they are refugees.”
Saskatchewan is not alone. Quebec has stepped in to fill the gap, and Manitoba has said they will do the same and send the bill to the Federal government.
While Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews has been critical of the cuts, she has made no announcement about helping disenfranchised refugees here in Ontario.
The Harper government blinked this week.
Determined to bulldoze through unpopular cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for refugees, the government partially backed off claiming they were simply “clarifying the wording” on the plan.
The plan provides interim comprehensive health coverage to refugees and asylum seekers until they qualify for provincial and territorial health coverage.
Cuts were due to take place at the end of June, but over the long weekend the wording was changed on the government website, maintaining so-called “supplemental benefits” to United Nations’ refugees the government selects and brings to Canada. The benefits are also being maintained for some privately sponsored refugees.
In sports they call it plays of the week. For us, it’s just our way to address the pile up of issues surrounding health care this week.
Labour issues are very important to us given OPSEU presents more than 41,000 members who work in our health system, about 700 more having voted to join us in just the last month. They include health care workers at such diverse locations as Orillia’s Soldier’s Memorial Hospital, London Health Sciences, the Oshawa Health Centre and Trellis Mental Health and Development Services, located throughout much of Southern Ontario. Therefore the Ontario PC white paper proposing changes to the province’s labour laws certainly caught our attention. What was more surprising, as our translator pointed out, is the Tories rushed it out in English only. Do the Tories understand there are more than 580,000 francophones who live and vote here? The PC web site offers no French button like we do here at Diablogue.
Canadian Blood Services has announced it is opening a second National Contact Centre (NCC) in Saint John, New Brunswick. The announcement follows CBS’ closure of its blood distribution centre in that city earlier this year. The present NCC is in Sudbury, Ontario. CBS Chief Operating Officer Ian Mumford says Saint John was chosen because of the presence of a bilingual workforce, although the city of 128,000 (metropolitan) is one of the more anglophone parts of the province. It has a large cross at the tip of the downtown peninsula celebrating the arrival of the Irish. The most recent census shows a little over 5,000 residents who have French as their mother tongue. Did Mumford confuse Saint John with Moncton? Mumford also says a second national call centre is necessary “for business continuity,” suggesting that “in the event of a crisis, people who need to contact Canadian Blood Services will always be able to do so.” Crisis? This is a phone centre that handles both inbound and outbound calls with donors and arranges appointments for the donation clinics. Ontario politicians may want to pay attention to the jobs, as Mumford is stating the current contact centre work will be redistributed and that additional information will be provided after a “more detailed staffing analysis is complete.” CBS closed its Thunder Bay operation in April of this year, shedding about 25 northern jobs.
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Tagged Andrew Boozary, Canadian Blood Services, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, English only PC paper, Ian Mumford, Jason Kenney, Leona Aglukkaq, London Health Sciences, Oshawa Health Centre, Soldier's Memorial Hospital, Trellis Mental Health and Developmental Services
Changes to the Interim Federal Health plan for refugees may result in higher costs and place communities at risk says the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada (AMMI).
In a June 18 letter signed by AMMI President Dr. A. Mark Joffe, the association says they “strongly disagree” that the changes will protect public safety.
The Federal program provides a bridge to refugees who may not yet be eligible for provincial health plan coverage.
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced cuts to the program in April, removing supplemental coverage such as dentistry, drugs, vision care and mobility assistive devices.