A patient gets test results in a Scarborough, Ont. clinic with the disappointment that nobody wants to hear. But she is awaiting thousands of costs in comparison to the cost of surgery, radiation, and mastectomy because she has no health insurance. CBC Radio names her Grace because she is scared her name might be removed. In 2001, she legally came to Canada as part of the live caregiver program, but before she was able to accomplish it she lost her job — and her position.
Grace found a lump last August for the first time. She was charged a mammogram and MRI for hundreds of dollars at a facility–but she could not bear a biopsy to treat if she had no financial guarantor.
Meanwhile, antibiotics and Tylenol have been prescribed for pain. Grace agreed to make referrals at no expense from the Canadian Centre for Refugees and Immigrant Healthcare (CCIRH). White Coat, Black Art’s host Dr. Brian Goldman, was the volunteer oncologist of the clinic who provided the news that she was probably looking for northern $10,000 for therapy.
Dr. Paul Caulford, a veteran family doctor, calls for Ontario to eliminate the three-month wait period for OHIP coverage by immigrants applicants in the area.
Caulford says that the Federal Interim Health (IFH) program, which includes only limited health coverage such as dental and sighting services for refugee and asylum seekers should be obligatory for the healthcare practitioners and agencies. Caulford claims that the decline in 2012 leads to confusion about the real operation of IFH and that even now, many physicians refuse to register.
The proposal was sent to the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, which partly answered that ‘ publicly funded health insurance is the obligation of the Province.