AUGUST 16TH 2012.
Our numbers of uninsured refugees needing healthcare continue to grow. Tonight’s volunteer free clinic saw more and more patients with rejected Interim Federal Health. In their midst, was a sponsored person, denied healthcare.
Carlos is 47. He came to Canada from South America, via the USA ,when he was 42. He resided in the USA for many years with a valid residency permit. He came here to live with his wife and their 3 children.
Carlos is sponsored by his wife. She has a job, is a Canadian citizen. Carlos is here legally. He desperately wants to work. He cannot – at least legally. Immigration has repeatedly denied him a work permit – for more than 4 years. This means he cannot earn the money he needs to buy his diabetic treatments, or to see a doctor. Instead, he receives a small social assistance cheque.
Carlos now needs insulin. His blood sugar has elevated to the point where it is dangerous, potentially life threatening, and certainly life shortening. The pills we are giving him have failed. He cannot afford a doctor to provide care. His eyesight is deteriorating. We have a donation of 3 months of insulin. We gave it to him this evening. We taught Carlos how to inject himself. When it runs out – then what? If he drifts into a coma, he will need the ER, and likely stay in hospital for days. Our ER’s are already overcrowded. Our hospital’s have bed shortages. We are trying to find a way to get more insulin, to keep his health going, to prevent a hospital visit. We have 3 months supply. We are looking for an eye physician willing to assess Carlos. We prefer he not develop diabetic blindness.
Who thinks a scenario like this up? Who forces a man of 47 who can and wants to work to take social assistance? Who denies him life saving prevention and healthcare, and drives him instead into the ER for care 200 times more expensive than simple insulin?
When those opposed to providing basic health coverage to refugee claimants and other medically uninsured say words like – ” no healthcare for bogus newcomers”, or ” I won’t be taken for a sucker”, do they mean Carlos? Do they realize their words are lethal to a father of 3 children? Is this how they would want to be treated if in his shoes? Are we mad?
I am afraid that one day we will wake up, and realize how severely Canada has deteriorated. I fear that then, it will be too late for all of us.