Last week, the Toronto Star reported, “A group of physicians briefly occupied a Conservative MP’s office Friday, demanding Ottawa rescind its planned cuts to refugees’ health-care coverage. Outside the office of Joe Oliver, the Tories’ highest ranking member in the GTA, doctors from all disciplines echoed concerns that the denial of health-care access would increase health costs and jeopardize public health. The protest by the 90 Toronto-area physicians was one of many organized by doctors across the country from British Columbia to Newfoundland against the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program that will come into effect June 30.”
“Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said the changes will save Ottawa $100 million over five years and discourage ‘unfounded’ refugees from coming. …’The federal government would tell you that refugees are coming here for routine dental and vision care,’ Dr. Philip Berger, head of St. Michael’s Hospital’s family medicine, said to the cheers of the protesting physicians, all in lab coats, waving placards. ‘Someone coming out of a camp with an abscess and having lost her husband and two kids is not going to be running for a teeth cleaning when she sets foot in Canada,’ Berger said. …’This is supposedly a cost-saving measure for the government, but the cost of delaying treatment will result in more emergency visits, more intensive care visits,’ said pediatrician Anna Banerji, an Order of Ontario recipient.”
“After a 10-minute stalemate, three police officers arrived to clear the office. The protesters dropped off a letter to Oliver before moving onto the street and distributing flyers to passersby.”
To see a 5-minute video of the occupation of Oliver’s office, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiNDtUaNudk.
People are being encouraged to write Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to say that they oppose the planned cuts to health-care coverage for refugees. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council of Canadians congratulates the physicians who occupied Oliver’s office.