Health care professionals and patients rally against cuts to refugee health care

Hundreds of petitions to be sent to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney
Montreal – June 29, 2012: The doctors, nurses, other health care workers and patients of the Montreal Children’s Hospital launched a letter writing campaign to express their opposition to the Federal Government’s planned cuts to the Interim Federal Health program. They gathered over 800 signatures.
Today, they will stand united as they bundle up the letters and mail them to Immigration Minister Jason Kenny.  
WHEN: Friday June 29, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Montreal Children’s Hospital
2300 Tupper Street (corner Tupper)
Main entrance
The cuts to the Interim Federal Health program will result in many refugees in Canada losing access to primary health care services and medications to treat their illnesses. As a result, refugees will only be covered for health care if it is urgent or essential or is a threat to public health or safety.
“We are relieved the Government of Quebec has stepped in to temporarily cover the cost of treating these very vulnerable patient population, but we are still demanding that the Federal Government reverse its position on this issue. As a society, we cannot abandon these patients, a sick child is a sick child whether they are full-blown Canadians or refugees,” says Dr. Micheline Ste-Marie. “The cuts to this program are disastrous. Refugees arrive in Canada having escaped war, persecution or threats on their lives. They often arrive with little or no financial resources. How can we expect them to pay for vaccinations, medications, a doctor’s visit.” 
“We have spoken up loudly and clearly,” says Dr. Louise Auger, a pediatrician. “In very short order, we collected hundreds of signatures. The people we spoke with were very clearly upset by plans to slash the Interim Federal Health program. Today, we stand united as we mail off our petitions.”
For more information please call
Lisa Dutton
Public Relations and Communications
The Montreal Children’s Hospital