Sask. NDP urges gov't to help sick refugees cut off by feds
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:45PM CST
The NDP Opposition wants the Saskatchewan government to help refugees who lost their drug, dental and vision coverage because of federal cuts.
New Democrat Cam Broten says refugees, including a man in Saskatoon with cancer, are falling through the cracks.
The man received chemotherapy, but he couldn't afford medication for the side effects and nearly quit treatment.
The federal government said in the spring that it hoped benefit changes would deter bogus refugee claims and ensure failed asylum seekers didn't take advantage of Canada's free health care.
Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan says there's still a lot of confusion over what is being covered.
Duncan told the legislature that the Saskatoon man got cancer care, but he didn't specially mention anti-nausea medication that the man needed.
At least one other province has stepped in to backfill the federal cuts.
Manitoba said in September that it will help refugees get the health benefits the federal government took away. Health Minister Theresa Oswald said in a prepared statement that the province doesn't agree with the cut because it's hurting families and will lead to longer-term and more expensive problems.