Reduce the OHIP waiting period for immigrants!

Canada is notably a multicultural, multiracial, and multi-linguistic nation that promises universal healthcare to all of its citizens. However, upon first arrival to Ontario, immigrants are faced with many obstacles. Today, Ontario citizens are covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). However, recent immigrants to Ontario however, experience struggles when requiring access to healthcare. The current policy states that newly arrived immigrants to Ontario seeking access to healthcare need to wait 3 months before their OHIP coverage commences. In the mean time, they are encouraged to purchase private insurance, which is an extra financial burden upon entering Canada. In 2004 approximately 125,000 immigrants migrated to Ontario and in 2005 this number rose to 141,000 (Right to Healthcare Coalition, 2007). From 2002 to 2006 Canada received 240,000 immigrants; 129,000 of them settling in Ontario (Right to HealthCare Coalition, 2007). This policy puts this rapidly increasing population at a disadvantage during a time when they are trying to settle with their families and start a new life. The Ontario provincial government has suggested that recent immigrants requiring health care services during the 3 month waiting period to purchase private health insurance. This poses as an extreme struggle as these immigrants may not be financially stable at this time. For these reasons, the current policy must be modified in order to ensure equal access to health care for all of Ontario. - Immigrants experience the highest percentage of low income due to limited job opportunities, inability to communicate in English, and ethnic discrimination will ultimately hinder their opportunities to earn a sustainable income. - language barrier that immigrants affects oneâ

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