Anonymous Healthcare Denied phone line launched

Migrant justice organization No One Is Illegal – Toronto has launched an anonymous phone line for migrant patients and service providers to share information about healthcare services they are being denied or are unable to provide due to recent changes to refugee healthcare by the federal government.

Torontonians are encouraged to call 1 888 602 6365 and press 1 if they were denied services or press 2 if they are a service provider who is facing constraints Details at: http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/HealthcareDenied

“We are trying to figure out exactly where immigrants and refugees are facing obstacles, what medication and services people need the most, which hospitals and services are denying or charging for services,” explained Nanky Rai of No One Is Illegal – Toronto. “We are hearing stories about the impacts of the cuts to refugee health care on refugees individually but we don’t know enough about which healthcare institutions are most vehemently implementing the federal regulations.”

“Many service providers don’t want to deny services but are feeling that their hands are tied because of administrative barriers and pressure from management to do so. We are asking them to anonymously share this information with us, ” Rai added. “Once we know where people are beingdenied services, we can work with those places to pressure the provincial and federal government to pay for these services rather than downloading the costs on immigrants.”

As of June 30, 2012, the Federal government has excluded thousands of migrants from basic healthcare services using regulatory mechanisms and without public debate. This political move means that refugees join the ranks of undocumented immigrants and temporary migrant workers who are not able to access full health care in Canada [1].

No One Is Illegal – Toronto is also urging concerned residents to join Health for All – Toronto’s campaign to pressure the provincial government to provide services to refugees: http://www.health4all.ca/PetitionToMinisterMatthews

Healthcare providers are also encouraged to join the national “We refuse to cooperate campaign” here: http://collectifjusticesante-campagne.tumblr.com/

For more information,
Nanky Rai 416 602 0131, No One Is Illegal Toronto
nooneisillegal@riseup.net

[1] Many temporary workers are unable to access healthcare for the first three months of their arrival in Canada and cannot access healthcare services if they are injured on the job out of fear of deportation.