Winnipeggers rally for better health care for refugees
'Many times refugees are just not getting care,' says Winnipeg Dr. Cynthia Sawatzky
Dozens of Winnipeggers rallied at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights today calling for better health-care services for refugees.
Demonstrators were drawing attention to 2012 cuts to refugee health-care services by the Conservative government.
"Here in Manitoba, I'm fortunate as a health-care provider that the refugees that I treat do get a health card and a PHIN number, and largely ... I don't have to deny them access to clinical care or investigations."
Even so, Sawatzky said in other provinces, like Ontario, refugees can be turned away from accessing basic services, including walk-in clinic care.
"Doctors find the whole process extremely cumbersome, full of red tape," said Sawatzky. "It's very unclear who's covered for what and what's not, and so many times refugees are just not getting care in the clinics."
The Conservative government is appealing a federal court decision that recently ruled the cuts were unconstitutional.
The protesters agreed with the ruling and want the appeal quashed.