A small Quebec of the seven weeks is private health care by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec, by reason of the immigration status of his parents.
“I am very worried for Alice. We will not be able to pay its consultations with a doctor every time “, drops Rayene Mzahem, who is pursuing a master’s degree in microbiology at the University of Sherbrooke since April of 2019.
The 26 year old woman and her husband, Chouaib Achouri, 29 years old, emigrated from Algeria in 2018 so that it can begin a phd in civil engineering at the same university.
Their daughter Alice was born on may 26 at the Hôpital Fleurimont. She is a canadian citizen, but her parents, themselves, have only a temporary residence.
“We should wait to have our diploma to make our application for permanent residence “, says Achouri.
On 24 may, two days before the birth of Alice, the couple learned that their daughter would not be entitled to MEDICARE, and their insurance with Desjardins is not the covering that for his first week of life.
They had him take a private insurance which costs them 1024 $. With tuition fees of up to $ 13,000 per session, it is much and it only covers emergencies.
A lot of visits
A toddler aged 0 to 1 year must meet with the doctor at least five times for a follow-up appointment, according to the Observatory of small children, an organization that analyzes the reality of young children.
But in just six weeks, Alice has already had a few pips of health.
“She has had an ingrown toenail that caused pus to 10 days, says Ms. Mzahem. A clinic has agreed to see it, but it was a favour. “
“Since Tuesday, she is not feeding well,” continues the mother. She has secretions. I called to the clinic for an appointment, but she refused because she was not “carte soleil”. I am very stressed. ”
“It’s starting to become ridiculous, lance the director-general of Doctors of the world Canada Nadja Pollaert. The health system we now refer to patients that they do not want to see. They were born here. They have never lived elsewhere. They are discriminated against because of their parents ‘ status. ”
The Protector of the citizen and the Observatory toddlers also denounce the situation of these children in quebec without access to health care for a few years already.
In its annual report, unveiled in September, the québec ombudsman asked the RAMQ to apply its own law : “any minor child who is born in Quebec, and remained there as usual and there is present more than 183 days per year is eligible “.
“Rayene continues to do its work at the university to finish his master’s degree and make an application for permanent residence as quickly as possible,” said the young father, who has had to put his phd on hold to care for her daughter.
A practice is deemed illegal
A demand for collective action has been filed against the Quebec government Thursday so that all children can canadian citizens in the province have access to the RAMQ.
“It is necessary to stop this illegal practice of the RAMQ. Refuse the card sun to a child in canada is against the law. For us, it is very clear, ” says Claude Provencher, the lawyer who represents the plaintiffs Ridwan and Hiqmat Sulaimon.
The couple, originally from Nigeria arrived in Montreal in December 2019, in order that Mr. Sulaimon complete a doctorate in chemistry at Concordia University.
To address the problems
As little Alice, born in Sherbrooke a few weeks ago, their daughter, who has seen the light of day on February 4 at the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, was denied access to the health insurance plan public due to the migratory status of their parents.
The couple has initiated this collective action for their daughter, but especially in the name of all those who are in the same situation.
Since 2015, the clinic Doctors of the world Canada, Montreal, has received 150 cases of canadian children without access to health care, confirms the director general Nadja Pollaert.
The law is clear
For Me Provencher, the health insurance act is clear.
“All children born in Quebec are covered, regardless of the status of their parents “, says he.
According to a provision of the act amended in 1999 by Pauline Marois, then minister of Health, Quebec recognizes ” black on white “, “despite the fact that the parents would be non-eligible, the children would be eligible and would be entitled to services, “MEDICARE,” reveals an excerpt of the parliamentary debate of the time.
“The intention of the legislator was specifically to ensure that the migratory status of parents does not affect the coverage of their children “, argues the director general of Doctors of the world Canada Nadja Pollaert.
The office of the minister of Health and social Services, Christian Dubé, confirmed to the Newspaper its intention to expand coverage to these children, and this, ” as soon as possible “.
“This is something that should have been settled well before,” says the firm.