A 40-year-old immigration rules that barred applicants with disabilities will soon change, says Canada’s minister responsible, Ahmed Hussen. The policy was designed to protect the publicly-funded health care system and social services from taking responsibility for newcomers with significant needs.
A new policy will be developed that would facilitate immigration for applicants who’s health conditions require a limited range of services with relatively low costs. The minister expects this “would dispense with a majority of the medical inadmissibility cases seen in Canada today.”
Health care costs of concern to provinces
Immigration services notes the number of refusals was not high, but it resulted in cases where applicants or their children were refused despite the fact that their situation “was one readily accommodated in Canadian society.”
Provinces which are responsible for health care and social services have expressed concern that the new policy would add to their expenses. Hussen said the current policy is estimated to save the health care system about $135 million over five years and that is about 0.1 per cent of all of its spending.
Details of the policy change have yet to be worked out.
With files from CBC