Creating Complex Systems: The Implications of the Immigration System Reforms for Refugee Health (2012)
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In June 2012, the Canadian federal government introduced a new legislature, which drastically reformed the Canadian immigration system. During this time the Conservative government reformed the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), completely transforming health coverage for asylum seekers. This overhaul created a hierarchy, whereby asylum seekers would qualify for different levels of coverage based on their claimant status. This study explores the impacts of this policy change and outlines the inequity consequential to the reforms of 2012. It includes secondary thematic data analysis of interviews conducted with medical health professionals regarding the impacts of the 2012 decision. The study provides a comprehensive look at the implications of patchwork policies through three prominent themes: potential risks to women’s health; barriers to healthcare access (language, fear, cost); significant medical bills and delays lead to additional health problems. Finally, I conclude with policy recommendations for future federal and provincial governments.