Refugee Health Vancouver is a practical resource to support clinicians who provide care to refugees in British Columbia.
Need a patient handout on diabetes in Farsi? Looking for a Spanish-speaking dentist in Vancouver who offers reduced fees? Not sure what convention refugees are, why they would flee Myanmar, or how you can bill to care for them? This site pulls together the answers for you.
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The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), provides limited, temporary coverage of health-care benefits to resettled refugees and refugee claimants. IFHP is administered by Medavie Blue Cross.
IFH provides health insurance while the patient waits for MSP to come into effect. After MSP is activated, IFH still covers the cost of supplemental services (such as dental and vision care) and prescription drugs for one year.
Refugees are eligible to apply for IFH upon arrival in Canada. Enrolment is not automatic. Each refugee must file an application. Refugees can complete the IFH registration form and submit it online, or mail the application to the BC CIC office. The settlement worker or sponsor usually assists with this.
Syrian refugees, however, will be given an IFH certificate by CBSA officers at the point of entry into Canada, or issued one by an IRCC officer shortly after arrival.
IFH is activated within days of approval, and is in effect for one year.
A patient with IFH coverage will have a certificate that looks like this:
As of April 1, 2016, IFH has been fully restored to pre-2012 levels, with full coverage for all refugees (government and privately sponsored) and refugee claimants, including:
To confirm a patient's coverage, locate the 8-digit client ID number at the upper right-hand corner of their IFH document, and enter it into Medavie's secure provider web portal, or call 1-888-614-1880.
Medavie Blue Cross maintains a list of physicians, dentists, optometrists, midwives, pharmacies etc. who are registered with IFH. Inclusion on this list does not mean that the provider is necessarily accepting new patients or clients.
In extenuating circumstances, a provider can apply for prior approval of a service or medication not routinely covered by the patient's IFH health plan. Forms available on the Medavie Blue Cross website here.
Translated educational handouts on health issues.
Dentists, physiotherapists and other community resources who speak other languages, accept IFH or offer reduced fees.
An overview of the main countries from which Canada receives refugees, with a focus on political and health issues.