Media Advisory: Opponents of refugee health cuts face off with federal government in new court hearing
Toronto, January 26, 2015 – Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care (CDRC) is returning to Federal Court tomorrow along with the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) and Justice for Children and Youth (JFCY) to ensure the Conservative Government is in full compliance with a judge’s order reinstating health services for refugees.
The federal government’s 2012 cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) were deemed unconstitutional – “cruel and unusual” to be precise – by the Court in July. Following a failed effort by the government to have the decision stayed while an appeal is heard, the government announced Temporary measures for the Interim Federal Health Program on November 4th, 2014. However, these measures do not fully restore the level of coverage that was available to refugees before the original cuts.
The IFHP has been marred by red tape and unnecessary complexity for more than two years. Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care and others have documented numerous examples of patients being denied care – including sick children and pregnant women fleeing sexual violence.
More than 20 national health care organizations, all provincial Premiers, lawyers, law professors, artists, faith-based groups, student organizations and other Canadians continue to call for the federal government to reverse the cuts to refugee health. The medical associations are also calling on the government to drop its appeal. A Forum opinion poll revealed Canadians are not in favour of providing refugees with less access to health care.
Who: Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and Justice for Children and Youth
What: Federal Court hearing on new CDRC and CARL motion re: refugee health cuts
When: January 27th, 9:30 am
Where: Courtroom 5C (5th floor), 330 University Avenue, Toronto
Why: To ensure the Conservative government is in full compliance with the November 4th, 2014 Federal Court order
Note: Dr. Meb Rashid and Dr. Philip Berger (647-896-1191), co-chairs of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care will be attending the hearing and are available for interview. Lorne Waldman will be available to speak on behalf of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers.