New immigrants to Canada, refugees and temporary foreign workers are especially at risk of experiencing barriers to health care due to language and cultural differences, low income and restrictive government policy.
Newly arrived permanent residents to Ontario must wait three months before they can access OHIP. At the federal level the reinstated Interim Federal Health program provides limited temporary health coverage for refugees. Ontario’s CHCs serve both these populations as they have a mandate and funding to serve people who are non-insured. Some Community Health Centres and Community Family Health Teams provide primary health care services to small numbers of migrant agricultural workers in their area, and others would like to do more.
We believe we have a universal healthcare system, but there are an estimated 500,000 people in Ontario who are denied healthcare coverage due to their immigration status. This includes new immigrants in the three month waiting period, temporary foreign workers between contracts, and returning Canadian citizens who have left the country for a period of time.
Support the OHIP for All campaign calling on the Ontario government to ensure access to OHIP for all Ontario residents, regardless of immigration status.