Proposed Changes to Medical Inadmissibility Legislation

Medical Inadmissibility image

As many healthcare and social services are publicly funded, Canada has a current policy in place which refuses immigration applicants who might be expected to cause excessive demand on Canadian health care system or social services. This type of exclusion is referred to as medical inadmissibility.

On November 22, 2017 Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen appeared before the Standing Committee on Immigration to discuss the potential reforms for the current medical inadmissibility rules that are outdated and are no longer adhering to current principles and are not reflective of Canadian values.

The Canadian government has specific calculations to anticipate the average healthcare cost of an immigration applicant with a medical condition, in comparison to the average cost for Canadians. As per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, excessive demand is defined as one” for which the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health services and social services” for five consecutive (5) years following the most recent medical assessment.

There are certain exemptions to the excessive demand provision and this can be found in cases of Family Sponsorship applications.

Minister Hussen expressed that the public savings through the current medical inadmissibility provision are significantly small. Furthermore, the Canadian government found that the excessive demand provision resulted in an approximated five (5) year savings of about $135 million which only represents a 0.1 % of all healthcare spending in Canada.

Currently the Canadian government is reviewing the medical inadmissibility provisions and considering a number of potential reforms. One potential change which is being considered is the possibility of adjusting the cost threshold as well as revising the groups exempt from this particular provision. Minister Hussen has not ruled out the possibility of scrapping the excessive demand provision altogether but it is still in the early stages of consideration. It is important to note however that the standard medical examination requirement for various types of Canadian Permanent and Temporary applications will remain in place.