Comment 78433

By TimO'Shea (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2012 at 08:52:29

Chris and "son of refugees"

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. To clarify I agree completely that by and large the refugee population that I deal with in my medical practice do not feel like victims and they are indeed quite grateful for the opportunity that they have been given. As well I agree that many Canadians struggle with the cost of prescription medications and that a national strategy must be developed to deal with this serious issue which has enormous implications for our system which claims equitable access to health care for all. However there are a few points that I would like to reiterate; first access to the highest attainable standard of health is a human right enshrined in international covenants to which Canada is a party. Under this new policy there will be legal residents of Canada who have absolutely no health care coverage even if their life is at risk. Second, the issue of cost is particularly relevant for this population; I have a patient whose monthly medication bill is ~350 dollars, all for medications necessary to prevent serious complications. She receives ~ 650 dollars per month to support her and her three children, and has no means to supplement this income. If she were a citizen of this country she would be able to both apply for work to supplement her income, and she would qualify for Ontario Works which would cover her medication and allow her to not have to choose between her health and food/rent for her and her children. The fact that there are Canadians who have difficulty affording their medications (which I agree is unjust) does not make the situation of my patient any less unjust. That is what we are arguing against on June 18th. I hope you join us.

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