Ottawa reverses refugee health cuts

February 18, 2016


The Trudeau Liberals are cancelling controversial cuts to refugee health care made by the previous Harper Government.

Immigration and Refugees Minister John McCallum and Health Minister Jane Philpott today announced reinstatement of health care coverage for newly arrived refugees and those seeking refugee status in Canada. The coverage was slashed by the Conservative government in 2012.

An interim federal health program will now apply evenly to all. Next year, the program will be expanded to cover health care needs of some refugees before they even reach Canada.

The refugee health care program was established nearly 80 years ago following the Second World War. Eventually, it was used to cover the period before immigrants were eligible for provincial health coverage. The program provided prescription medications along with dental and eyesight coverage.

In a surprise move in 2012, the former Conservative government cut many of the provisions leading to a series of successful court challenges.

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