Doctors Protest Changes to the Interim Federal Health program

In April 2012 the Canadian government made restrictive changes to the Interim Federal Health program, which covers refuges in Canada. It went into effect on June 30th with the proviso that government assisted refugees would not be affected.

Doctors and healthcare staff have found the new program a disaster, from the medical viewpoint and the bureaucratic aspect. Dr. Alexander Cauderalla, says the new program is “targeting the most vulnerable people, especially children.”

Six provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, have stepped into fill the gaps and provided coverage. And doctors have organized to protest the changes and are actively lobbying government to hear their concerns. They say they’re witnessing the creation of a 3 and 4 tier healthcare system.

“It’s very rare for physicians and healthcare workers to take such a strong political position and for 20 national medical organizations to be unified against one cause like this… it’s very unique,” according to Dr. Cauderalla. He says, “The last thing we want is for somebody with tuberculosis to be out in the community, undocumented, and potentially infecting a great number of Canadians.”


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