Procedures for processing urgent protection cases: medical screening and health coverage

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Contacting the Panel Physician

The medical assessments will be initiated and coordinated by the visa office immediately following a positive decision to process the application. This means making arrangements with a Panel Physician (PP) or acceptable alternate for an immediate assessment. Depending on circumstances, it may be preferable to use an IOM physician or the best available local physician/medical facility to meet the 3-5 day target. The PP should be advised of the need for preliminary feedback to the Canadian medical officer at the earliest possible opportunity.

Medical admissibility- risk assessment

In cases where the medical examination cannot be finalized within the time available, the Canadian medical officer will provide an assessment of the risk associated with approving the applicant to the officer. In cases where the medical officer indicates no apparent serious reasons to refuse, the refugee should be sent to Canada on a temporary resident permit and the medical examination will be completed in Canada.

Example:  While it may not be possible to determine if the applicant has active tuberculosis, the medical officer may provide an assessment concerning the likelihood of active TB for the particular refugee case.

If there is a well-founded suspicion that the applicant may have a medical condition that is a contagious disease that would pose a health threat, the officer must weigh potential risks against the applicant’s protection needs. If there are no serious reasons to refuse, the refugee should be issued a temporary resident permit

Further medical investigations

In some cases, it may be necessary to transfer the medical file to Canada for completion after arrival. There are two situations in which medical results will be transmitted after the refugee has departed for Canada:

  • medical investigations are complete but results are not available prior to the refugee travelling to Canada (only risk assessment has been provided); or
  • further medical investigations are needed to complete the medical assessment.

In both cases, the medical officer abroad should provide an assessment of the medical risk.

When the medical has not been completed by the time the refugee departs for Canada, the final results are forwarded to CPC-Vegreville so that confirmation of permanent resident status or other follow-up may occur. A copy should also be sent to the local CIC so that the CIC may issue the medical furtherance.

When further medical investigations are needed to complete the medical assessment, the local CIC in Canada will be responsible for providing the refugee's medical determination. The results are forwarded to CPC-Vegreville.

Medical surveillance

The visa office issues IMM 0535B if it has been determined that a refugee has a medical condition requiring public health surveillance in Canada. It will be processed as per the regular procedures. Port of entry (POE) officers should ensure that the destination address in item 7 is complete.

Medical examination in Canada

It is important that providers of reception services ensure that all refugees whose medical examinations were not completed abroad have a medical examination immediately upon arrival in Canada. SPOs and providers of reception services should be made aware by the local CIC of the possibility of health risks. As well, the SPO should liaise with the medical doctor to ensure any required assistance is provided (e.g., specialized counseling or medical treatment). Any information that could be of importance to the receiving community should be forwarded to the community of final destination, copied to the local CIC and the NHQ-MC. The sponsor or SPO will make referrals to an appropriate service.

Medical coverage

Refugees authorized to enter Canada under the Urgent Protection Program are entitled to the same benefits as refugees processed through the regular process. Where the refugee enters on a permit, it is important to state on the temporary resident permit that the individual is a member of the Convention refugee abroad class or a member of a humanitarian-protected person abroad class seeking resettlement. This notation is necessary to ensure refugees receive entitlement to health coverage. More details on health coverage (PDF, 431.66KB).

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