OTTAWA— The Conservative government’s planned cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program will undermine Canadian doctors’ ability to provide care for our most vulnerable, said Liberals today.
“The Conservatives’ plan to gut healthcare benefits for refugees is jeopardizing not only our global reputation as a compassionate nation, but the health of those seeking asylum in Canada,” said Liberal Senate Health critic, Senator Jane Cordy, who attended a press conference with Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care on behalf of Liberals. “Stephen Harper must listen to the call of Canadian doctors and healthcare workers and immediately reverse his plan. Unilaterally altering the Interim Federal Health Program without any consultation with those working on the frontlines represents reckless policy-making that will only download costs to the provinces and municipalities and victimize the most vulnerable.”
Senator Cordy joined with representatives from Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care on Parliament Hill to condemn the Conservative government’s planned cuts to vital healthcare services for refugees. The organization is calling for the government to immediately rescind changes to the Interim Federal Health Program and work with frontline professionals and the provinces in a comprehensive consultative process. They also unveiled a national plan to monitor and publicly report on the health consequences of federal cuts to this program.
“Refugees who come to Canada are fleeing their homes to escape grave disasters or violence and persecution,” said Liberal Citizenship and Immigration critic Kevin Lamoureux. “Some arrive in Canada with little more than the clothes on their backs, let alone the resources to provide themselves and their family with much-needed healthcare. While Conservatives try to make our refugee system into an us-versus-them issue, we will continue to fight for Canada’s humanitarian traditions and a Canada that is a safe haven to those seeking refuge.”