Changes needed in maternity care gap in Canada immigration

The immigration system suffers from a pregnancy gap for immigrant women living in Canada.

Pregnancy gap in Canada immigration—Pregnant immigrant women are not eligible for federal health insurance and this is a serious loophole in Canada immigration system. Such a loophole means huge medical bills for immigrant women needing pregnancy medical care in Canada.

Consider, for instance, the case of an pregnant immigrant woman living in Hamilton. Married to Carey McGregor, Sylvia is expecting a second child and she has been told by the doctors in Hamilton that she will need a C-section(cesarean section) for delivering her child since it’s a ‘high-risk’ pregnancy.

Pregnant immigrant women in Canada are not eligible to get government medicare while high-risk pregnancies are not provided by private health insurance in Canada.

What does this mean—This gap in Canada immigration process simply means increased woes for pregnant immigrant women as well as their families in Canada. The immigration system leaves no options available for such immigrant women.

Sylvia has forwarded her application for Canada permanent resident visa in September last year. But, just because Sylvia is not a Canadian citizen, she is not entitled to get maternity services in Canada. Canada is really backward in this regard, says McGregor.

And this means incurring medical bills ranging between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on the nature of the pregnancy complications, adds McGregor. It’s a problem with a large number of Canadian men who move over to other nations like Brazil, Korea, Japan or Taiwan for their professions and needs immediate reform, he maintains.

No re-entry to Canada-another problem—Although, Sylvia is lucky enough since a doctor in Hamilton has promised to offer free medical care until she get eligible for Ontario Health Insurance coverage, other immigrant women might not be so lucky.

However, she might be refused to return to Canada if she leaves the nation even for a short duration (while her application for Canada permanent resident visa is under process).

That’s because under Canada immigration rules, it is mandatory for a sponsored spouse to live in Canada with his or her sponsor until the grant of Canada permanent residency.