Clinics – July 1, 2012- present
Read this, and wonder how safe you feel under the “protection” of Citizenship and Immigration Canada?
Each year, we and countless other healthcare providers provide humanitarian medical care to hundreds of medically uninsured refugee claimants and immigrants who come with fevers and cough.
Almost all of them turn out have a simple upper respiratory infection, of little harm to public safety. Sometimes though, we discover a more serious infection causing the fever and cough, that if untreated can life threatening to the patient, and others. Sometime we find and treat Tuberculoses. Other times we diagnose pneumonias. We have diagnosed malaria, influenza, lung abscesses, pleurisy, and other infections.
The Federal Government provided assurances that their cuts to Interim Federal Health care (IFH) for Refugees will not harm the health of resident Canadians. You judge how well their program is working?
When any uninsured refugee arrives at our clinic with a fever and a cough, or a host of many other symptoms ( a headache and a fever), physicians are obligated for humanitarian and public health safety reasons to diagnose this, and provide medical care. Under the new IFH Public Health and Safety rules, if the patient is found not to have a diagnoses on the Federal list deemed dangerous to Public Safety, then the treating clinic and physician will be not be reimbursed for the care, and the patient receives no funding for care.
The problem is obvious. If the patient does not have one of these diagnoses, there is no reimbursement and patient and doctor are left with the medical bills. The Government will not pay.
Let me see if you are thinking what we are thinking? Unless the physician investigates the cough and fever, how would they ever know it is TB, or any other public safety diagnosis?
The results are equally as obvious. Uninsured refugee patients waiting on their refugee claims are staying away from seeking care, afraid of the costs, unable pay, fearful debt or illness will harm their chances to stay. Some physicians are avoiding providing investigations and care, realizing they will never be remunerated.
One case of TB, left undiagnosed and untreated will infect many others. The cost of tracing and treating all the contacts can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, it can kill some of them, and other infected persons are often never traced. And so, the cycle continues.
The example of TB is just one. What about gastrointestinal symptoms. Sometimes they are Typhoid, most times they are not. The list goes on.
This how the “Public” are made “Safe” and “Healthy” under the IFH cuts to refugee healthcare. Again, who thinks this up? This is a policy put in place by a Federal Ministry more interested in their immigration ideology, than Canada’s health, or the health of refugees.