Ambassador Bridge. (Photo by Jason Viau)

MP Still Concerned Over US Healthcare Access

A Member of Parliament from Windsor is taking the Liberal government to task on a lack of information on whether refugees can seek urgent health care in the U.S.

Windsor West MP Brian Masse has been waiting for the government in Ottawa to provide assurance that refugees in Canada who are from countries listed in a U.S. immigration ban could access emergency medical care in Detroit and elsewhere in the US.  Masse has been acting on concerns raised by Windsor Regional Hospital and other health care providers.

“The hospital has to get clarification and assurances that nothing changes,” says Masse.  “There hasn’t been the type of answers that we want.”

Masse submitted a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as immigration minister Ahmed Hussen and public safety minister Ralph Goodale, asking for assurance that refugees needing medical care would have no trouble crossing the border.  With Windsor close to facilities in Detroit and Ann Arbor offering forms of care not readily available in Windsor-Essex, area residents often take advantage.

Masse says he is still waiting on a response to his inquiry and has been stunned to see that Liberal MPs from areas close to the U.S. border have not really raised the concerns he has.

“What’s interesting too, approaching Liberal members in other border jurisdictions don’t seem to be particularly interested in this matter,” says Masse.  “It’s quite surprising that there has been little movement over this in Ottawa.  There hasn’t been any questions in the House of Commons by the government.”

Masse believes that it may be due to a perceived reluctance of the Canadian government to question or challenge President Donald Trump on matters relating to Canada.  He says it is time for the Liberals to stop being concerned about getting on the White House’s bad side.

“It seems that they are politically sensitive to the situation of not wanting to raise issues with the Trump administration of any serious matter,” says Masse.

Masse says he will head to Washington this week to meet with congressional representatives on a variety of issues, including border security and access to U.S. healthcare.