Ontario must fill the gap left by cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, say health-care providers
Health for All Protest covered in Rabble.
Health-care workers and other service providers rallied Wednesday morning outside the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Toronto to demand that the Ontario government step up to fill the gap left by federal cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program.
The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) provides temporary health-care coverage to eligible protected persons, refugee claimants and others who do not qualify for provincial or territorial health insurance plans.
Under the previous benefit coverage, the government said the cost of the IFHP grew to $84.6 million in the 2010–2011 fiscal year.
Prior to the changes, the IFHP provided basic health-care coverage, similar to what is provided through a provincial or territorial health insurance plan, as well as coverage for supplemental health-care services, including pharmaceutical care, dentistry, vision care and mobility assistive devices.
But as of July 1 last year, supplemental health-care benefits were eliminated.
The federal government said the cost savings are projected to be about $100 million over the next five years.
On December 14, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney complicated matters more by naming 27 countries he deemed “safe” for the purposes of dealing with refugee claims in Canada.