“We Refuse to Cooperate” Campaign


:: EVERYONE’S INVITED ::::

September 29, 2012, 1pm-4pm
Hamilton – Bayfront Park (near the gazebo on the south-west corner of the park)

Event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/347799985307099/

Hamiltonians for Migrant Health calls on healthcare providers, community members, and allies to join the nation-wide ‘We Refuse To Cooperate’ campaign in solidarity with the Health Justice Collective of Montreal. We urge you to demonstrate your support for refugee health care in Canada by joining the campaign.

On June 30th, government cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) took effect, leaving some refugee groups in Canada with limited to no access to health care. These changes are inhumane and threaten the health and dignity of migrant communities. Healthcare providers and community members across Canada have voiced their concern over the health and socioeconomic impact of these policy changes. An unprecedented mobilization took place in the lead-up to the June 18th National Day of Action Against Cuts to the IFH, which included demonstrations in over a dozen cities.

Since the cuts took effect, healthcare providers have documented a number of adverse health outcomes among refugees who were denied care. In Hamilton, for example, health providers witnessed a young boy suffer a seizure after being refused his epilepsy medication because his mother, a refugee claimant, was not able to pay for it.

Stories have also emerged about providers continuing to care for affected individuals despite the cuts.

This is a call for the ON-GOING mobilization of health care providers and other refugee allies in rejecting the cuts.

:::: HOW TO PARTICIPATE ::::

Join us in person on Sept 29th or add your voice to the campaign by uploading your photo at http://collectifjusticesante-campagne.tumblr.com/.

Bayfront Park, Hamilton
Saturday, Sept 29th, 2012 from 1-4 pm

We encourage you to take your photos with signs that clearly convey that you will continue to provide services and care to migrants, despite the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program and the ongoing exclusion of undocumented people from health services. Please remember to include your name and city, as well as the type of work that you do. You do not need to be a healthcare provider to participate!

We understand that for a variety of reasons, some individuals are not in a position to publicly post their photos despite being in opposition to these measures. If you find yourself in this situation, we encourage you to wear a mask, take a photo of the back of your head, or cover your face with the sign that you’ll be holding up.

:::::: BACKGROUNDER :::::::

Cuts to the IFHP are intimately linked to the recent Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, more aptly known as the Refugee Exclusion Act. The cuts deny health care services to a significant number of refugee claimants, with the exception of services related to health problems that “threaten public health or public safety”.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, claims the cuts are cost-saving measures that ensure “equity” for the rest of the Canadian population. In reality, the cuts are a pretext for the introduction of ideological measures that portray migrants as intruders and threats, while disregarding issues of justice and human dignity. True equity would entail adequate health care for all.

Prior to the IFHP cuts, tens of thousands of migrants across Canada were denied health care based on their immigration status. Since implementation of the cuts, the number of migrants living in precarious conditions has increased significantly.
The Refugee Exclusion Act, along with the IFHP cuts, will create a system that further discriminates against refugee claimants on the basis of their nationality and will dramatically increase the number of people forced to live underground, without access to essential services. This is extremely dangerous to the health of these members of our society.

More Information About Mobilization in Hamilton:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/744291–health-workers-protest-cuts-to-refugee-care
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/763972–doctors-crash-federal-event-to-protest-refugee-health-cuts
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/766927–mds-nurses-compelled-to-protest
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/725828–refugee-health-cuts-are-bad-for-all-of-us

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