OTTAWA — The Liberal government is restoring health care coverage for all refugees and refugee claimants beginning this April; next year, it will extend coverage to some refugees before they even arrive in Canada. The move comes after the previous Conservative government dramatically changed the program in 2012.
Here's a look at the interim federal health program by the numbers.
1957: year in which existing program was formally established, after initially being conceived as a program to address the needs of immigrants coming to Canada after the Second World War.
105,326: number of people who were eligible for benefits under the program in 2003.
128,586: number of people who were eligible for benefits under the program in 2012.
2012: year in which the Conservatives overhauled the program, dividing coverage into six categories based on everything from the refugee's source country to the status of their file to the disease for which they were seeking treatment.
50.6 million: In Canadian dollars, cost of the program in 2002-2003.
91 million: In Canadian dollars, cost of the program in 2009-2010.
100 million: Amount in Canadian dollars the Conservatives said the changes would save, over five years.
51 million: current budgeted cost of the program.
SOURCE: court files, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
The Canadian Press