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9.16.2012

manitoba to defy jason kenney, cover refugee health care

The Province of Manitoba has announced that it will cover health care for refugee claimants, in defiance of Jason Kenney's vindictive cuts to help at the federal level. (I haven't been able to find the link from the Winnipeg Free Press; I hope this capture at iPolitics is trustworthy.)
Manitoba will help refugees access health benefits the federal government recently took away.

Health Minister Theresa Oswald said in a prepared statement that the province doesn’t agree with the cut because it’s hurting families and will lead to longer-term and more expensive problems.

Agencies and advocates for privately sponsored refugees and health-care providers have rallied against Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s cuts to supplemental health benefits that took effect June 30.

The refugees’ sponsors were left to pay for any prescription drugs, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, vision and dental care they needed, otherwise, they would go without.

Dr. Mike Dillon, who has worked with refugees for decades, praised the Manitoba government for recognizing this as a concern and for picking up the slack.

Oswald said the province will add up the bill and send it to the federal health minister.
This would not have happened without the persistent activism of nurses, doctors, and other health care providers, who fought back for their patients. Well done, Manitoba! Who's next?

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