[Press Release] Children’s access to health insurance: Quebec must do better

After several years of mobilisation to change the eligibility criteria of the health insurance of Quebec (RAMQ) for the benefit of all Canadian children, things finally seem to be moving with the announcement of Bill 83. But it is still too little. For the International Bureau for Children’s Rights (IBCR), all children residing in the province must have access to RAMQ, regardless of their nationality or the status of their parents.

Hope was high when the Quebec government announced its willingness to finally move to extend provincial health insurance coverage to children born in Quebec of parents with precarious immigration status. After reading the draft Bill 83, we have to admit that we are still far from achieving this. Complex procedures, requirements that are difficult to understand, convoluted language… This bill raises more questions than it solves. And above all, it remains far too restrictive in view of the diversity of situations of children of immigrants in Quebec. What about children born outside Canada but living in the province?

From the perspective of international law, the only variable to be taken into account in accessing health care for a child is his or her best interests.

Thus, to truly align with international standards, to which Canada has subscribed, Quebec must allow all children present – even temporarily – in the province to have access to free health care, and all children residing in the province should be covered by the RAMQ, regardless of nationality.

As human beings who themselves have rights, children should be treated autonomously and not subordinated to their parents’ rights.”Guillaume Landry, Director General of the International Bureau for Children's Rights

On Wednesday 21st April at 4.20pm, the International Bureau for Children’s Rights will present its recommendations on Bill 38 to the Committee on Health and Social Services, by video conference.

Several organisations that have been working alongside the IBCR for years on this issue, such as Médecins du Monde and the Observatoire des tout-petits, will also present a mémoire to the committee.

> Learn more about our advocacy

To follow our hearing (online) : 

Wednesday 21st April 2021

from 16:20 to 17:05

Follow the hearing*.

*Link available on the day of the hearing

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