Veterans Affairs Canada has not yet announced cost coverage and access to Mifegymiso for people covered by their program if the province or territory where a member resides does not have a coverage program in place.
Veterans Affairs Canada provides supplemental coverage to veterans who require health services or medications as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty. For all other coverage, veterans are covered by their provincial and territorial health insurance plans. As such, access to Mifegymiso for veterans depends on whether they reside in a province or territory that has implemented full cost coverage for this medication. That said, as federal patients, veterans deserve supplementary coverage on top of what is offered through provincial and territorial plans, and as such, should have access to free Mifegymiso regardless of whether they are eligible for Veterans Affairs Canada’s benefits and pensions.
Barriers to Access
We encourage the government to:
Access to comprehensive and timely medical care can be difficult for many veterans. The department’s own statistics suggest many veterans must wait far longer than the department’s service standards dictate. Just 52% of applications for disability benefits are processed within the departmental target of 16 weeks. Just 65% of veterans in need of long-term care received it within the target of 10 weeks. And just 53% had access to the career-transition program within the target of four weeks.
It is also important to note that women make up a significant percentage of the veteran population and the number of female veterans living homeless/in-crisis appears to be on the rise. In 2015, VETS Canada identified that 6% of the in-crisis veterans supported by the organization were female. Last year, that number jumped to 16%. Many of these female veterans that were assisted by VETS Canada were single mothers.
1. Ensure equitable, timely and easy access to a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services and goods, including cost coverage for Mifegymiso in provinces or territories where no universal cost coverage program is in place.
2. Address the lack of support, capacity and funding delaying access to appropriate and timely health care, including mental health care for veterans.3. Improve the integration of individuals from marginalized populations, including women, trans and LGBQ individuals, in the Veterans Affairs leadership structures.
3. Establish an independent agency to receive reports of inappropriate sexual conduct and to provide support to survivors as one part of improving processes to address sexual harassment and assault.
4. Assess and respond to the specific health needs of women and LGBTQ veterans.