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Ukrainians fleeing to B.C. will receive immediate health coverage

Community support groups say prescription drugs, mental health counselling needed
Hundreds of people gathered in solidarity for the people of Ukraine during a rally in Victoria, Feb. 27, 2022. The province announced April 25, Ukrainians fleeing to B.C. will receive health coverage immediately upon arrival. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Ukrainians fleeing war and landing in B.C. will have access to the province’s Medical Services Plan coverage immediately upon arrival.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs made the announcement Monday (April 25), noting that some incoming Ukrainians may require medical services right away.

“…our community support groups indicate that many of those who choose our province as a safe temporary home – mothers with children, students, elderly people – need to see physicians and medical specialists, to access prescription drugs, and to receive mental health counselling,” president of the B.C. chapter of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Natalie Jatskevich, said in a news release.

Displaced Ukrainians are arriving in B.C. with visas issued under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program, which provides them with a three-year temporary resident visa or open work permit.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs said there will be no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can apply to the emergency travel program or receive immediate health care coverage.

Normally, new residents to the province have to wait three months for coverage to kick in.

As of April 19, Canada has received more than 163,000 applications from Ukrainians fleeing the war, and has approved more than 56,000. It’s not yet known how many of those individuals will end up in B.C.

READ ALSO: Thousands of displaced Ukrainians expected to come to B.C.


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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

Hi, I'm a provincial reporter with Black Press Media, where I've worked since 2020.
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