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Make sure BC babies can access health care

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Health Minister Terry Lake <terry.lake.mla@leg.bc.ca>
Deputy Health Minister Stephen Brown <hlth.dmoffice@gov.bc.ca>
Assistant Deputy Health Minister Barbara Walman <HlthMBPSDCorr@gov.bc.ca>
Opposition Health Critic Judy Darcy <judy.darcy.mla@leg.bc.ca>
Representative for Children and Youth <maryellen.turpellafond@rcybc.ca>
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Make sure BC babies can access health care

All BC Babies deserve health coverageI get really worried and powerless when my son is sick; I don’t know how much help I can get without his MSP coverage." 

A sick baby is scary enough. Now imagine being prevented from bringing your baby to the doctor when they really needed it.

For many families with precarious immigration status, this terrifying situation is a reality. 

Legally, if a baby is born in Canada, they are entitled to health coverage.[1]

This spring, Health Minister Terry Lake confirmed this, saying that "if a baby is born in Canada, they are a Canadian citizen and immediately eligible for MSP." [2]

In practice, however, this isn't the case.

In B.C., applying for MSP coverage for infants requires at least one parent to provide their MSP number and residence information. This requirement creates an instant roadblock if the applying parent has restricted or no access to MSP due to precarious immigration status. In addition, parents may be concerned that if they provide residence information they will risk deportation by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Prior to 2012, an infant’s application was not tied to their parents’ MSP coverage, so parents with precarious immigration status could register their Canadian-born dependents just like everybody else.

Unlike B.C., health care providers in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba report that they continue to provide health insurance to babies in these situations.

Canadian children are legally entitled to remain in Canada indefinitely and receive health care on a non-discriminatory basis.

Use the form on the right hand side of the page to send a message asking the BC Government to make sure all babies born in B.C. can access health care when they need it.

The BC Health Coalition is running this campaign in partnership with Sanctuary Health, a collective of individuals who are working to make sure that everyone can access the care they need regardless of their immigration status. 

 

[1] Are you Eligible? Registering for MSP in B.C.

[2] Official Report of Debates of the Legislatve Assembly, May 5th 2016