Community reaction to B.C. baby born in hotel
The CBC Community had a lot to say about a B.C. couple that wound up having their baby in a hotel room after the mother couldn't get provincial health-care coverage.
Early in her pregnancy, Lynne Aitchison, who is from Scotland, applied to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for permanent residency status. She was refused medical coverage because her application was sitting, unopened, in a pile with thousands of others.
Readers on CBCNews.ca submitted more than 1,000 comments since the story was posted on Monday.
Much of the discussion centred around the immigration application backlog, which received twice as many applications in 2011 as it did a year earlier.
- "Someone who follows the rules, actually makes a commitment and gets married, and they are refused. What a strange time we live in." - Kasper8
- "The health and safety of future legal citizens of Canada who will eventually be taxpaying contributors to this country should be protected by law." - Machani
- "The point of this article is that the only reason she wasn't covered by MSP [Medical Services Plan] is that one section of government wouldn't send another section of government a piece of paper saying that she had sent in her immigration application a year ago, and that they were considering it." - O.Pinionated
- "Looks like they did the right thing in the circumstances. Birth attended by midwife shouldn't be portrayed as risky. Hospital next door in case of problems was a great strategy. Looks to me like a problem with a broken bureaucracy where a federal call trumped provincial. Ziggy caught in the middle. Shame on both levels of bureaucrats and their superiors." - Sipper
- "I would simply have checked in to the hospital, had the baby under the best medical care available, then checked out. $10,000 bill? So what. I wouldn't pay it until I could afford it. More important to avoid a possible tragedy than worry about paying a bill! They can't deport you for not paying a bill. And they still can't refuse medical care." - thehawks
- "If they were responsible, they would have used family planning methods to wait until they had healthcare lined up before getting pregnant." - ajwhite
- "Very poor planning by those who are supposed to be accountable: the parents...There is no way my wife and I would have got into this position knowing full well it may cause issues down the road." - RandyD
- "You do realize that babies have been born for millions of years without surgical gloves, doctors, immunizations, hospital stays and large bills for doing so right? Not much danger there. You have just bought into the system they sell... Sure modern medicine is cool I suppose and can do some wonderful things, but not as necessary as they would have you believe." - Inner Peace
- "Congrats on a healthy baby. Women have been having babies like this for many thousands of years, mostly without any problems." - uranusmile
- "While I agree that many births could be handled by a midwife at home, this couple should not have been left in the lurch the way they were. My wife's second delivery was a breach and could have been a disaster without the efforts of our doctor and the birth team." - WinterE
- "Actually, complications at childbirth were a major cause of death, for both women and babies, until fairly recently. Sure, the humankind didn't go extinct, because a fair number of women and babies were lucky enough and did survive the birth; but these days we have much higher expectations." - wmlott
- "Scotland is a beautiful country to have your son in! I'm sure her husband could have entered without issues or concerns? To choose a hotel bathtub over your home country? This story is missing something!" - southy44
- "I am the reporter who wrote this story. Just to clarify - in the paragraph where husband Brennan Armstrong is quoted as saying 'can't work'- he is talking about why they didn't go back to Scotland for the birth. He meant he 'can't work' in Scotland because he has no status there. Armstrong has a full time job - at a liquor store in Whistler - which is stated earlier in the article. Hope this helps."
- "I have no sympathies for the woman. My wife is American and we had to wait six months for her to get her permanent residency approved. We applied from OUTSIDE Canada; she stayed in the US while I was in Canada...I'm sorry if you're going to have to be away from your husband for a short period of time, but we've endured it, tons of people have endured it and we all survived it." - Knucklehead80
- "To Knucklehead80: You are right - the processing time for spousal applicants like Aitchison within Canada is approx. eight months. However - and this was the key problem in her case - there is a 11-12 month waiting period BEFORE that eight-month processing time - when the applications sit unopened - with no file number assigned to them yet. During that initial period she was unable to get any written confirmation from immigration that her application was in process - which is all she needed to get MSP coverage in B.C. Hope this helps."
As always, thanks for your feedback and discussion.
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