We are asking the Government of Ontario to end the OHIP three month waiting period for new immigrants, temporary foreign workers, migrants newly approved for Permanent Residency, and returning Canadians; to provide OHIP coverage to those left uninsured with temporary status, including temporary foreign workers between contracts and international students; to provide coverage to those left uninsured while inland immigration sponsorship, humanitarian, and compassionate status applications are pending. Lastly, to provide OHIP coverage to those left uninsured due to being non-status while residing in Ontario.
An estimated 500,000 people in Ontario are denied health coverage due to their immigration status. Many children, adults, and seniors have been denied care in emergency rooms, have been asked for thousands of dollars upfront for healthcare, have received massive bills or have foregone healthcare altogether when they needed it. People have died as a result of our system in Ontario that denies care to people who need it. We can stop unnecessary and high cost health complications. We can stop denying sick people care. We can create the society we all want to live in by providing healthcare for all people living in Ontario, regardless their of immigration status.
In Canada, we believe we have a universal healthcare system but in reality, many are denied healthcare coverage due to their immigration status. Sign the open letter and join the movement calling for OHIP for ALL people living in Ontario.
– For Immediate Release –
OHIP for All Welcomes Canadian Medical Association’s Commitment to Health Care for All Residents of Canada
Quebec City, August 22, 2017 – OHIP for All applauds the Canadian Medical Association (CMA)’s pledge to call on governments to address the lack of access to insured health coverage for all residents of Canada, regardless of their immigration status. The motion was introduced at the CMA’s General Council Meeting in Quebec City on August 22nd, 2017.
We take pride in our universal healthcare system, but in reality there are an estimated 500,000 individuals living in Ontario alone without access to health coverage due to their immigration status, and more across Canada. This includes new immigrants, temporary foreign workers, international students, people pending inland sponsorship, humanitarian claimants, people living without status, and returning Canadian citizens in various situations.
“Doctors encounter uninsured patients on the front lines and see the devastating and avoidable toll exacted by such arbitrary and inhumane policies,” said Dr. Michaela Beder, a psychiatrist in Toronto and supporter of the CMA motion. “It’s wonderful to see our national professional association taking action this incredibly important issue that affects so many people living in Canada.”
People living in Canada without health insurance that are in need of health services often delay seeking care, leading to worsening medical conditions. When they do access care, they are often denied services if they cannot provide cash up-front, are saddled with large bills, and risk detention and deportation.
“As a health care provider who has seen firsthand the negative impact of denying services to residents in need of health care, it’s inspiring to see the CMA take a strong stance in support of uninsured people,” said Dr. Ritika Goel, a Toronto-based family doctor and member of the OHIP for All campaign. “A person with life-threatening cancer should not be denied life-saving treatment.”
OHIP for All is a campaign led by healthcare workers, students, social service providers, migrants, and community members, and calls on the Ontario government to extend OHIP coverage to all residents of Ontario, regardless of their immigration status. We believe that everyone living in Canada should have access to healthcare as a basic human right and a matter of social justice.
Media Contact: Ritika Goel
Media Contact: Michaela Beder