August 2nd, 2012: The clinic doors closed early

August 2nd’s uninsured refugee clinic was a repeat of the last few weeks. The number of patients with revoked and denied IFH asking for medical help, has nearly tripled.

This is unprecedented in our 12 year history of providing uninsured healthcare.

The Nurse Practitioner providing care last night, and the nurses, were overwhelmed. When the clinic doors opened at 5 pm there was a crush of waiting patients.The staff were forced to close the doors an hour early. Many patients were still in the waiting room at 8pm, still waiting to be treated. It was much later before all had been seen.

All the new patients arrive with no medical history, other than what they can tell us. We have never met them before. Some patients are on many medications and needed renewals.  We have never met them before. We worry we know too little about their health status and medical history to safely treat them and prescribe medications. We worry if we do not treat them worse health results will ensue and they will end up at the ER. Some were pregnant, some were children. Some were anxious, their anxiety made worse by the fear of non treatment. All waited patiently to be treated.

We are very confused. The new patients we are seeing have IFH – issued prior to Bill C31, with expiry dates well into the future. Why have these persons been targeted for revocation of IFH health services?  Is this Blue Cross denying services, or the rules of Bill C31, or both? We have tried to seek clarification, but are getting no answers.

Bill C31 is punishing many, turning innocent persons into victims simply because of the misfortune to be ill. It is breeding frustration and anger, amongst both patients and providers. Humiliation and invalidation are felt all around. Nothing positive or good will emerge from this inhumane injustice? It is intolerable to see.

The limited funds we have to provide healthcare are being depleted, very quickly.



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