By: THE CANADIAN PRESS, JUN 29, 2016 9:03 AM

A coalition of health care professionals, labour groups and immigration advocates is calling for Ontario to extend health coverage to all residents, regardless of their immigration status.

“People should no longer be denied access to care, they should not be turned away from emergency rooms, they should not be asked for large amounts of money,” Dr. Ritika Goel said.

Goel, a spokeswoman for OHIP For All campaign, said extending OHIP benefits to all people living in Ontario was a human rights issue. She spoke at a rally in front of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Toronto

OHIP For All launched its campaign Tuesday with rallies in several Ontario cities including Toronto, Hamilton, Mississauga, Ottawa, London, Kitchener and Peterborough.

The group also issued an open letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins asking for OHIP eligibility for new immigrants, temporary foreign workers, international students and others as soon as they arrive in the province.

Under the current system, new arrivals over the age of 16 face a waiting period of up to three months before getting OHIP and temporary foreign workers without contracts don’t get coverage.

The coalition says that, in that time, people can run up large health care costs, become severely ill or die because they cannot access health care.

Hoskins said he would take the group’s requests under advisement, adding that new Canadians are eligible for some health services through community health centres and that refugees have health coverage under the Interim Federal Health program.

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1 Response

  • Peter Jakubowicz


    I was just wondering if there is any follow-up from the provincial health minister on this issue. if you click on the Council of Canadians website (, you will see that there are approximately 200,000 Canadians who have no provincial health care. Now, considering that these people pay federal income taxes, in addition to being residents of Ontario, I find it rather unsettling that these same people are not getting what they are paying for, i.e. their federal taxes subsidize the provincial health care system. This seems rather unfair to me. Thus, rather than health care being solely a provincial responsibility, I am of the opinion that the federal government would need to address this serious issue. After all, the federal government can’t ignore the hundreds of thousands of tax-paying Canadians without access to health care. Has Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada been asked to address this issue?
    In spite of an open letter written to Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario and Eric Hoskins, the Minister of Health of Ontario, the provincial government has conveniently ignored and sidestepped the issue. I would like to ask, what is the position of the federal Minister of Health on this matter? ( How would she address the issue of denial of health care by the provincial health ministry? What grounds does the provincial minister have in denying health care? I would appreciate if the Minister of Health would clarify her position and publicly inform all the Canadians without health care about her stance on this matter
    Etu Takacs, a concerned senior citizen


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