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Health care for farm workers injured in Canada again in limbo

Published:Tuesday | March 25, 2014 | 12:24 PM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Health care coverage for two Jamaican farm workers who were injured in Canada is again in limbo as the province of Ontario makes another attempt to end the arrangement.

The case is to be heard today in Toronto.

The authorities are seeking to overturn a decision by the Health Services Appeal and Review Board to allow extended healthcare coverage for Denville Clarke and Kenroy Williams.

Williams and Clarke had been seriously injured in a road accident in August 2012.

However, as the two men were working under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, their Ontario Health Insurance Plan coverage was originally slated to expire on December 15, at the end of the agricultural season that year.

Their employer attempted to return them to Jamaica after the accident despite their serious medical conditions and before they could receive adequate health care.

However, the Health Services Appeal and Review Board ruled that extraordinary circumstances such as medical emergencies could prevent farm workers from returning to their country of origin at the end of their work permits.

Commenting on the latest court action, Chris Ramsaroop of lobby group, Justice for Migrant Workers said the Province's litigation is scapegoating migrants as drains on its resources.

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