Budlakoti is currently seeking redress at the Health Care Appeal Board. The hearing takes place via teleconference from three locations (Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto) on Wednesday November 26 at 3pm.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/900522139957844/
Join your voice in support of Deepan and all migrants’ access to healthcare. Do no harm. Rally & flyering Wednesday, November 26th, 3:00pm-3:30pm, 1005 Princess St. Bring a sign!
Deepan Budlakoti was born in Ottawa in 1989, he was issued an Ontario Birth Certificate and has held his own Canadian passport since the age of 14. In May 2010, via a loophole in government immigration policy related to his parents’ employment at the Indian Embassy, the federal government revoked his Canadian Citizenship. As he has no legal status in any other country, Deepan has been rendered Stateless. Since 2010, he has been fighting to protect his rights to status, employment, services, and healthcare.
Recently, Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, contacted the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to inform them that Mr. Budlakoti is not a citizen, and therefore should not be entitled to coverage. Although Budlakoti is fighting this ministerial decision in Federal Court, OHIP has already rescinded his access to health care, leaving the young man without basic coverage for the past year.
The Ministry’s decision to deny Budlakoti access to health care is particularly striking after the Federal Court’s recent decision in Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care et al v. Canada (2014), which reversed the federal government’s cuts to refugee health care. The court established that denying health care to vulnerable individuals constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Like hundreds of thousands of other people living in Canada, Deepan is being denied healthcare because of immigration status. Because Canada ties healthcare to immigration status, he finds himself among the ranks of those who are either denied healthcare entirely, or must battle with a bewilderingly complex bureaucracy to obtain even the most basic coverage.
“All I want is to have the same rights as any other Canadian. I was born here. This is my country,” Budlakoti said. Budlakoti, whose citizenship rights were taken away after 23 years of living as a Canadian citizen, is vulnerable without health care coverage. He faces the crippling prospect of thousands of dollars in medical bills should he be taken ill or be in need of medical assistance.
Budlakoti is currently seeking redress via the Health Care Appeal Board. The hearing takes place via teleconference among three locations (Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto) on Wednesday November 26 at 3pm.
Justice for Deepan Support Committee
local contact: Karl Flecker firstname.lastname@example.org