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Open Letter to the Alberta government to support healthcare for non-status migrants

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

Over 125 health workers in Alberta are asking the government to provide access to health benefits in the time of Covid 19 pandemic

Hon. Jason Kenney Premier of Alberta 307 Legislature Building 10800 - 97 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Hon. Tyler Shandro Minister of Health 423 Legislature Building 10800 - 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

April 14, 2020

Dear Premier Kenny and Minister Shandro:

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a global public health emergency requiring the public to stay home in order to slow the possibility of transmission of the virus.

While Albertans are bracing for even more new confirmed Covid cases, we continue working together to beat this pandemic by following Alberta Health expertise. But there are still many residents without immigration status who are not covered for basic health care services.

These uninsured individuals include newly-landed permanent residents, temporary foreign workers who have lost status and work permits, and international students who are now in limbo. When people lose status and work permits, they cannot access free healthcare. This becomes a huge concern in the fight to defeat the spread of the virus because of these migrants’ fear of deportation if they try to access health services. Calgary family physician Dr. Jillian Ratti said “To deny healthcare to migrants is to cruelly devalue their lives during this unprecedented threat to human health and also to put the lives of other Canadians at risk. We believe that everyone, regardless of their immigration status, must have free access to health care in Alberta.

Consistent with the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, we urge the Government of Alberta to protect all Albertans by considering the following:

1) Free health care coverage for everyone regardless of status, which includes COVID assessment, care, and treatment.

2) All clinics, hospitals, and COVID assessment centres have a clear policy that all will be treated regardless of status without the barriers of registration fees and billing fees.

3) Create a general policy that includes removing barriers such as registration fees and bills, having a step-by-step process and a clear and explicit public messaging campaign in the access to health services that NO ONE is left behind.


1. Dr. Jillian Ratti, Family Physician, Calgary 2. Dr. Mukararram Ali Zaidi, Family Physician, Calgary 3. Dr. Tehseen Ladha, MD, MPH, FRCPC, Pediatrics, Edmonton 4. Dr. Vera Caine PhD, RN, Nursing, Edmonton 5. Dr. Bukola Salami PhD, RN, Nursing, Edmonton 6. Dr. Shannon Scott, PhD, RN, Nursing, Edmonton 7. Jessica Salkeld, Emergency Medical Responder, Calgary 8. Dr. Ginetta Salvalaggio Md MSc CCFP, Family Physician, Edmonton 9. Prof. Vicki Strang, Nursing, Edmonton 10. Mariel Rodriguez Bellizia MSc, Neuroscientist, Lethbridge 11. Joud Nour Eddin MPH, Public Health Practitioner, Edmonton 12. Catherine Deschenes MD Candidate, 2021, Medicine, Edmonton 13. Mergim Binakaj MD Candidate, 2021, Medicine, Edmonton 14. Dr. Linda McConnan RN (retired), MN, Nursing, Edmonton 15. Eleanor Vicente LPN, Nursing, Edmonton 16. Prof. Keith King, BScN, MPH, RN, CPSO, Nursing, Edmonton 17. Jhong dela Cruz RPN, RN BScN, Nursing, Red Deer 18. Ameeta Singh Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases, Edmonton 19. Maheer Khan MD Candidate 2021, Medicine, Edmonton 20. Dr. David Swann MD, Medicine, Calgary 21. Nellie Alcaraz, BA, BSW, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, Calgary 22. Dr. Kathrin Enstas, Gynaecologist, Calgary 23. Jessica Vergata, Addiction and Mental Health, Calgary 24. Cynthia Palmaria MRT, Radiation Therapist, Edmonton 25. Sofia Soriano, Dental Assistant 26. Benjamin, Healthcare Aid, Edmonton 27. Anna Waller, Manager Dental Services, Calgary 28. Dr. Mohammed Ali, General Practitioner, Calgary 29. Kristine Umnas LPN, Nursing, Edmonton 30. Dr. Andrew Estefan PhD, RPN, Psychiatric Nursing, Calgary 31. Dominique Denis-Lalonde BN RN, Nursing, Calgary 32. Genevieve Currie, Public Health Nurse, Calgary 33. Dr. Sonya Jakubec, PhD, RN Professor (Community Mental Health), Calgary 34. Alyse Andrews, RN, Nursing, Calgary 35. Dr. Aliyah Dosani Professor, School of Nursing and midwifery, Calgary 36. Sergio Campus, Primary care paramedic, Calgary 37. Heather MacLean, Nursing, Calgary 38. Jacqueline Noga, Public Health, Edmonton 39. Dr. Maggie Quance, Nursing, Calgary 40. Dr. Andrea Kennedy, RN PhD, Professor Nursing, Calgary 41. Dr. Carla Ginn PhD RN, Nursing, Calgary 42. Dr. Tracy L. Powell MN, PhD(c) Associate, Professor Nursing, Calgary 43. Reanne Booker, MN BScN NP Oncology and palliative care nurse practitioner, Calgary 44. Sandra Gordon Associate Professor, Gerontological Nursing, Calgary 45. Dr. Aniela dela Cruz, Nursing, Calgary 46. Sydney Farkas RN MN CON(c), Nursing, Calgary 47. Dr. Olive Fast Associate Professor, Nursing, Calgary 48. Dr. Liza Lorenzetti PhD, Social Work, Calgary 49. Venus Velasco RN, Nursing, Calgary 50. Sandra Azocar Executive Director - Friends of Medicare, Edmonton 51. Manaoag Razote LPN, Nursing, Calgary 52. Faith Antona RN, Nursing, Calgary 53. Dr. Christine Gibson MD FCFP MMedEd, Family Physician, Calgary 54. Dr. GreggbTrueman PhD NP, Nurse Practitioner/Professor, Calgary 55. Gary Trueman-Klein, Social Worker, Calgary 56. Dr. Adele Duimering, Oncology, Edmonton 57. Jake Velasco RN, Nursing, Red Deer 58. Lorelyn Jerusalem RSW, Social Worker, Calgary 59. Aubrey Dela Cruz, Administrative Support, Red Deer 60. Michelle Frith BScN, Nursing, Red Deer 61. Richel Dela Cruz, Nursing, Red Deer 62. Divina dela Cruz, Medical Lab Assistant, Red Deer 63. Charyna Pico RN, Nursing, Red Deer 64. Mercy Espiritu McEachern RN, Nursing, Red Deer 65. Jacqueline Labios, Nursing, Lacombe 66. Rachelle Pacibe, Nursing, Red Deer 67. Vicente Martin Gatan RN MCD, Palliative Home Care, Calgary 68. Jean Gatan RN, Oncology, Calgary 69. Hamilet D. Dampulay BSW, Social Worker, Calgary 70. Ivonnie Abes RN, Nursing, Calgary 71. Dr. Helen Qian, Family Medicine, Calgary 72. Laila Bellony, Crisis Worker, Edmonton 73. Daniel Grover, RN, BN, BSc., Nursing, Calgary 74. Patty Wilson, Nurse Practitioner, Calgary 75. Oline Okholm, Physiotherapy, Edmonton 76. Daisy Webster, Nursing, Red Deer 77. Dr. Meera Grover, Family Medicine, Calgary 78. Heather Bensler RN MSN Director of International and Global Health, Calgary 79. Erin Jewell RN, Nursing, Calgary 80. Andrea Villareal, Nursing, Red Deer 81. Melanie Murdoch RN PICU, Nursing, Calgary 82. Dr. Giselle Devetten, Physician, Calgary 83. Dr. Michael Aucoin, Family Doctor, Calgary 84. Dr. Jean Mateo, Family Doctor, Calgary 85. Dr. Andrea Hull, Family Doctor, Calgary 86. Maria Chriselda Billete, HCA, Calgary 87. Dr. Suzanne Walsh, Family Physician, Calgary 89. Michelle Webb RN, Nursing, Calgary 90. Mandy Karr, Nurse Practitioner, Calgary 91. Reanna Teske, RN, Mental Health Outreach, Calgary 92. Krizia Carlos RN, Nursing, Calgary 93. Amanda Brophy, Nursing, Edmonton 94. Angela Franck, Nursing, Edmonton 95. Ibrahim AlMasri MD, MSC Candidate 2021 Medicine, Calgary 96. Heather Deans, Nurse Practitioner, Calgary 97. Crystal Johanson RN, Nursing, Calgary 98. Caitlin Brook RN, Nursing, Calgary 99. Cherri Lowhorn, Social Worker, Calgary 100. Amanda Loates RN, Nursing, Calgary 101. Ravneet Turna RN, Nursing, Red Deer 102. Christina Chavez, Nursing, Calgary 103, Emilisa Guanzo RN, Nursing, Calgary 104. Kathleen Charlong RN, Obstetrics, Calgary 105. Rodelyn Manuba RN, Nursing, Calgary 106. Eileen Castillo RN, Nursing, Calgary 107. Jannette Maddela LPN, Nursing, Calgary 108. Nancy Burton LPN, Nursing, Calgary 109. Keneline Villar RN, Nursing, Calgary 110. Chrisel Pacis RN, Nursing, Calgary 112. Stephanie Ovens, Social Worker, Calgary 113. Kulwinder Datewas LPN, Nursing, Calgary 114. Paul Cunanan LPN, Nursing, Calgary 115. Sarah Galbraith OW, Harm Reduction, Calgary 116. Shaneeza Sinclair BScN, RN, Nursing, Red Deer 117. Dulce Andal LPN, Nursing, Red Deer 118. Eric Howey MSW, RSW, Social Worker, Cochrane 119. Rowenamer Lapidante RN, Nursing, Red Deer 120. Dr. David Klassen Public Health & Preventive Medicine + Family Medicine, Calgary 121. Sarah Jobe, Social worker, Calgary 122. Dr. Ilyan Ferrer PhD, Assistant professor, Calgary 123. Konrad Chan RPh. Pharmacist, Calgary 124. Dr. Denise L. Spitzer, Professor, School of Public Health 125. Rachel Johnson RN, Nursing, Edmonton 126. Ganna Zakharova, Social Work, Calgary 127. Janine Hubert, RN, Nursing, Calgary

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