NEWS
07/26/2015 16:04 EDT | Updated 07/26/2016 01:12 EDT

Vicky Venancio, injured foreign worker, to get medical coverage from Alberta

Vicky Venancio — the former temporary foreign worker who was left a quadriplegic after being hit by a vehicle three years ago — will receive medical coverage from the province, according to Alberta's health minister.

"She is a tremendous woman of strength and perseverance. And now we can give her the health-care supports she is entitled to," Sarah Hoffman said Sunday.

Venancio, who is from the Philippines, has been fighting to stay in the country since 2012, when she was hit by an SUV while riding her bike to her job at an Edmonton McDonald's.

She was left with limited use of her hands and was diagnosed as a quadriplegic. Since she could no longer do her job, her visa was not renewed. The province had previously denied her health benefits, saying it was unable to pay for her care as she didn't have legal status. 

On Friday, federal Minister of State for Multiculturalism Tim Uppal contacted Venancio to tell her she had been granted a work permit, meaning she can stay in Canada for two years.

That announcement, which Hoffman called "good news," paved the way for the province to pay for her care.

"She'll have access to the same health-care benefits as all Albertans, all refugees," she said.

"This is the part of Alberta that I'm proud to be a part of, and the part of Canada I am proud to be apart of."

Hoffman had met with Venancio and her doctor earlier this week. She said Venancio is most in need of x-rays and pain medication, both of which are covered in Alberta.

Hoffman said Venancio will still have to pay for any treatments that are not generally covered by the province's health-care system.