Response from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Correspondence Ref. #: 2019-01052922)

Response from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Correspondence Ref. #: 2019-01052922)

Dear Lenora Brace:

Thank you for your correspondence of May 16, 2019, addressed to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, regarding services provided under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).  I have been asked to respond to your concerns.

I appreciate you sharing the circumstances that prompted you to write, and I note your suggestion to include nurse practitioners as healthcare providers authorized to provide primary health care under the IFHP. 

The IFHP provides coverage for supplemental healthcare services and products, including physiotherapy and assistive devices, to eligible beneficiaries across Canada.  This coverage is similar to the type of coverage provided to low income support recipients in provinces and territories.  As a matter of practice, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts periodic reviews of all supplemental benefits included in the IFHP to ensure comparability with provincial and territorial programs.  The latest review was conducted in 2018, and given the continuous evolution of the healthcare systems in Canada, IFHP coverage may—at times—not fully reflect the current practices in provinces and territories. 

In the spring of 2019, IRCC began its next review, which will include an examination of IFHP criteria and conditions for the supplemental benefits and medical equipment, such as frequency limits or the prescriber authority.  Any updates, if applicable, will be implemented and communicated via the IFHP Claims Administrator, Medavie Blue Cross.

Regarding refugee travel documentsguarantors who are in need of assistance may wish to contact the Passport Program

IRCC appreciates the suggestions and feedback you have provided.  Please be assured that all such input is taken into consideration as the Department moves forward with a view to continuous improvements of its programs and policies.

Thank you for taking the time to write.  While I understand that this may not be the response you had anticipated, I hope that you will find this information to be helpful.


F. Macmillan

Ministerial Enquiries Division