Law & Governance

Law & Governance July 2017
Research Paper

Reforming Refugee Healthcare in Canada: Exploring the Use of Policy Tools

Ethan Holtzer, Alicia Moore-Dean, Amirrtha Srikanthan and Kerry Kuluski


[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy, 12(4)]

Refugee healthcare in Canada has been a controversial and heavily debated topic over the past several years. In this paper, we present a policy analysis of the 2012 Canadian federal government decision to change the criteria and funding of the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). The IFHP provides federally funded healthcare coverage for refugees until they gain access to provincially funded health insurance. The paper offers a policy perspective on the changes to refugee health coverage over time. We draw on the policy concepts of agenda setting, framing, venues and causal stories to explore this topic. We suggest that these concepts represent a set of tools for both researchers and laypersons to critically appraise any issue on the policy agenda, and understand how certain topics become policy issues and why they are "solved" in particular ways.



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