Toronto wants to waive waiting period for immigrants’ health insurance
Canada, 5th March: The Toronto Board of Health is urging to slash the waiting period for new immigrants health coverage and asking for instant insurance coverage for them.
The board says the province must provide health coverage to immigrants immediately after their arrival here. As of now, immigrants have to wait for three-months before getting health coverage as per the OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan).
Ending the three-month waiting period for new immigrants in Canada will facilitate timely diagnosis as well as treatment of several communicable diseases.
Delay of three months leads to exacerbation of health problems and spreading of diseases which could otherwise be treated easily.
Tuberculosis is widespread in several nations and immigrants coming from such nations arrive in Canada. And since tuberculosis is a communicable disease, this is a big threat to Toronto as around 300 immigrants are found to be suffering from this disease each year.
The only exception to the current rule of Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is the newborns, a few adopted kids and some refugees who are not required to wait for three months before becoming eligible for receiving health coverage in Canada.
And this is not good, asserts Dr. David McKeown.
The medical officer of health for Toronto, Dr. McKeown said that since new immigrants to Ontario have not only spent time as well as money in getting immigrant status in Canada, hence, they must not be made to wait for three months before becoming eligible for OHIP.
And this is especially noticeable as far as the timely diagnosis and immediate treatment of diseases that are communicable, added McKeown.
New immigrants in Canada without having health coverage or health insurance feel hesitant to visit a doctor and that’s what puts their health as well as that of others at great risk, asserted McKeown.
Apart from Ontario, B.C.(British Columbia) is another Canadian province that is calling for ending the waiting period for new immigrants to gain health coverage in their province.
Health insurance coverage in Quebec is based on several factors including the severity of the disease but also has numerous exemptions to the rules of health coverage.