Nadia: Age 2, just a bill for $9,000 +

These cases are drawn from CCRIHC’s medical charts and patients experience. The Names of the victims and other identifying information appearing in our media has been changed to protect them from further harm.  Many of them have suffered horribly on treacherous their refugee journeys and their lives may be still in danger. 

Nadia, 2 years old, currently lives in Toronto. She has lived in Toronto since she was 2 months old. So far in her life, all her vaccinations and medical care have come at walk-in clinics and Emergency Departments. She has no OHIP, meaning all her healthcare costs must be paid for out of pocket. The medical bills are now in the thousands of dollars, yet she and her family also dearly need that money for housing, food, clothing, and transportation.

The rest of her family received their Canadian immigration papers in Bangladesh when Nadia’s mom was pregnant with her. Her parents both have jobs here now. Nadia’s parents, brother, and sister all received permanent residency, and all have received their OHIP cards after the 3 month waiting period expired. Nadia however, now 2 years old, still has neither.

How did this happen? Why did no government official help? After arriving in Toronto, a severe, unexpected family illness back home forced Nadia’s family to return temporarily to Bangladesh. At this time, Nadia still resided in her mother’s womb. While in Bangladesh, Nadia was born. The family returned to Canada a few months after, where Nadia was denied entry. The family was forced to make a humanitarian application for her. The family was stunned. Now, they have legal bills barring their Canadian journey. Nadia still remains medically uninsured in Ontario. In effect, our government has turned a blind eye on this 2 year old.