Saturday, December 31, 2011

MORE NOISE ON SUPER-VISA

See article below from the Toronto Star. The person interviewed seems to imply that medical insurance is not necessary because his parents are in good health. But "health" is not a long term contract with destiny, it can change in one second in a freak accident that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat: how many elderly people have the misfortune to slip and fall in their own home? Most statistics show that over 40%of accidents happen in the home. I suppose the applicant with no health insurance will be able to pay the tens of thousands of dollars necessary for a hip fracture operation and rehabilitation, or for a sudden onset of a heart condition that will require a by-pass....and if not, will any hospital in Canada not provide treatment at public expense? And how about our long lineups for residents and citizens who are often waiting months to get care? do we really need more demand for health care services? Insurance coverage is a cornerstone of the Super Visa program, and puts long term visitors on the same plane as residents in accessing medical care. perhaps the government should consider a constitutionally valid way to give visitors only emergency care and require that they leave for longer-term care once their condition is stable.

Super visa only for those who can afford it - thestar.com

December 30, 2011
Nicholas Keung

Felix Zhang was thrilled when Ottawa launched a “super visa” last month to allow parents and grandparents of newcomers to visit Canada and stay here for up to two years.
But the pricetag for the mandatory health insurance required under the program is a huge obstacle for the Zhangs and many other immigrant families.
The private insurance typically costs $2,000 to $4,000 depending on which company is writing the policy and the age and medical history of the insured.
For Zhang, a Toronto IT manager, said those premiums are beyond the reach of even middle-class immigrants like him.
“My parents are in good health and don’t need that. I am more than willing to pay for their health insurance in Canada, but not for something unnecessary,” said Zhang, co-founder of Sponsor Our Parents, a self-advocacy group. “This is so expensive that only the rich need to apply.”
At the same time, Ottawa has stopped accepting new sponsorships for permanent residence until 2014, hoping to cut the current backlog of 165,000 parents and grandparents by half.
And the department is trying to whittle down the list in other ways. Just this month, all sponsors in the backlog were told they had only 90 days to provide personal information and documentation of the sponsored applicants – materials not usually required until later in the process.
“They have asked for a lot of information and materials such as birth certificates. Some parents were born long time ago and don’t have birth certificates. They may not be able to get it on time,” said Zhang.
“And the (immigration) letter says if they don’t receive the information in 90 days, they will consider the applicant is no longer interested in coming here and reject the application.”
In announcing the first super visa issued at the Canadian mission in Manila this month, Kenney said he was pleased with the “positive response” to the program.
“With the super visa, we have taken a common sense approach that allows parents and grandparents to spend extended periods of time with their loved ones in Canada, while at the same time acting responsibly in protecting Canadian taxpayers,” he said.
However, MP Kevin Lamoureux, immigration critic for the Liberals, said the super visa is simply a political maneuver by the Conservative government “to avoid a backlash.”
“It irks me that they launched the super visa when they announced to put the freeze on the sponsorship of parents and grandparents,” said Lamoureux. “The health insurance is (out of) good intent, but it is so unaffordable that it is impossible for people to get the visa.”

1 comment:

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