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Canada’s nurses show resounding support to protect refugee health benefits

Vancouver, Monday, June 18, 2012 During the Canadian Nurses Association’s annual meeting, an overwhelming majority of voting registered nurses (RNs) backed a resolution to stand up against cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). These cuts, scheduled to take effect on June 30, 2012, would significantly restrict temporary health benefits available to refugees and refugee applicants. Coverage will only be available for urgent or essential care, or for medication to treat conditions that threaten public safety. Benefits for pharmaceuticals, vision and dental services, along with non-urgent public health immunizations and interventions, will be lost.

As World Refugee Day approaches on June 20, CNA calls upon RNs, other health-care providers and the Canadian public to demand reversal of the decision from Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. The federal government has a responsibility to protect and promote the health and wellness of its population. Deferring access to preventive primary health-care services will result in the need for more expensive acute care later on. CNA and its members believe these cuts are short-sighted and will in fact do more harm to already vulnerable individuals and intensify health inequities.

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 146,788 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

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For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca