NDP CALLS ON CONSERVATIVES TO RESTORE HEALTH CARE FOR VULNERABLE REFUGEES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 31, 2013

OTTAWA – New Democrats are calling on the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to reverse his predecessor’s mean-spirited cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).

“Since these cuts were announced, the NDP has been standing with Canadian doctors, lawyers and former refugees to condemn this cruel and short-sighted decision, and urge the Conservative government to end its attack on some of society’s most vulnerable people,” said NDP Immigration critic Jinny Sims (Newton – North Delta).

“We said from the beginning, these costs would be unfairly downloaded to the provinces and that is exactly what is happening.”

Cuts to the IFHP took effect in July 2012 and impact legitimate refugee claimants while their applications are being processed. Those being denied treatment include asthmatic children who can no longer access medication and pregnant women with potentially life-threatening diabetes. Quebec and Manitoba are already absorbing the added costs, and in Ontario, Toronto-area hospitals are facing a bill of over $800,000 this year alone, as a result of the Conservative cuts.

“The Conservatives continue to play politics with people’s lives, and jeopardize the health of all Canadians. Enough is enough. It’s time to reverse the cuts,” said NDP deputy Immigration critic Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert).