Monday, 25 June 2012

The Minister will be disrupted ... members of the Conservative government will be distupted ... by Canadian doctors across this country.

If the video above cannot be viewed here, please go to the youtube page where it was posted. There were nation-wide protests organized by doctors last week to protest Harper's cuts.

An Edmonton doctor says people will die if planned cuts to refugee health benefits go ahead.

"It would be hard to imagine how that wouldn't happen," said Dr. Stan Houston, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Alberta.

The Interim Federal Health Program, which provides temporary health insurance to refugee applicants who aren't eligible for provincial or territorial coverage, will be pared back, starting June 30.

The program will no longer include vision, dental or supplemental health benefits for asylum seekers. Most pharmaceutical benefits will also dry up.

Some claimants will still have access to hospital services, doctors and nurses, ambulances and medications or vaccines in urgent or essential situations.

Others, including those whose claims have been rejected, will have access to services only to "prevent or treat a disease posing a risk to the public health or a condition or public safety concern."

In Edmonton, the cuts could mean pregnant women will have labour complications because they haven't had any prenatal care, people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, will be left untreated, and disabled people will not be able to participate in their lives and the economy, Houston said.

Refugees come from places where their lives are in peril and they need a "full spectrum" of health care, said Erick Ambtman, executive director of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. About 1,500 refugees used the centre last year, for everything from therapy to parenting classes.
Compare the facts presented by these physicians with Harper cabinet Minister Oliver's dissembling and prevaricating.

The Hippocratic oath is said by medical students upon the completion of their course work and before they begin the practice of medicine. It says, in part:
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
The physician and the medical student who stood up to denounce cuts to the refugee health program said doctors tried to meet with government ministers but were refused access. They chose this *uncivil* and *dramatic* recourse to ensure that the factual information Cons deliberately silenced would be known.

More about Dr. Chris Keefer, who practices family medicine at the Brampton Civic Hospital, and medical student Faria Kamal, here.

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