On the 17th of January, 2011 the Association of Quebec Pharmacy (AQPP) owners issued a statement to its members urging them to cease filling prescriptions under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), arguing that the wait-time for reimbursement from Citizenship and Immigration Canada was too lengthy. The move left thousands of refugee claimants, resettled refugees and others covered under the IFHP without access to prescription medications. Although the dispute has allegedly been resolved, there are reports that some pharmacies are still witholding medications. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) played innocent as refugee claimants were left without their medications, despite the fact that the myriad of problems with IFHP are well known to the federal government. Most appallingly, those covered under the IFHP are denied full provincial health coverage and are subject to a second-class health system. On today’s episode of the HJRC, we collaborate with CKUT 90.3 FM’s Health on Earth in Montreal to bring you an interview with immigration lawyer David Thompson who works at the Montreal Chest Institute. We also speak with Montreal pediatrician and member of the No One is Illegal campaign, Samir Shaheen-Hussain, about an op-ed he co-authored, denouncing both the AQPP and CIC’s tactics. Listen here.
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