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Medical inadmissibility – rules under review

Since November 23, 2017, a parliamentary committee is reviewing the law that refuses applicants who would put “excessive demand” on health or social services.

According to the Immigration Department, 1,429 immigration applications were rejected on medical grounds in the last three years. Under the law, demand is found to be excessive if it exceeds the average annual health care costs for a Canadian, which is currently estimated at $6,655 or $33,275 over 5 years.

Section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act defines excessive demand as one “for which the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health services and social services” over a period of 5 consecutive years immediately following the most recent medical assessment. In some cases, that period can be extended to 10 consecutive years. The anticipated impact on existing wait times for health and social services in Canada is also considered.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, said “current medical inadmissibility rules for newcomers are out of touch with Canadian values and need to be reformed as the policy is more than 40 years old and needs to be brought into the 21st century.”

The parliamentary immigration committee is expected to continue its medical inadmissibility hearings into the new year before releasing a full report with final recommendations.

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