Fight for maternity care exposes gap

An Ontario man is fighting to change what he calls a pregnancy gap in Canada's immigration system.

Carey McGregor met his wife in Taiwan in 2005, and married in Canada two years later.

His wife Sylvia, who is Taiwanese, and not a Canadian citizen, had their first child abroad, and last year McGregor moved his family back to Canada.

Now expecting their second child and living in Hamilton, they're grappling with a big problem.

Sylvia has what doctors call a "high-risk" pregnancy, meaning she likely needs a cesarean section to give birth.

She applied for a permanent resident visa in September, and doesn't qualify for government medicare. Private health insurance doesn't cover pregnancies.

Medical bills could range from $10,000 to $20,000 or higher, depending on complications.

"We are in the gap in the system," said McGregor. "There are no options for us."

A doctor in Hamilton recently offered to provide medical care for the birth, free of charge, until Sylvia qualifies for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

"But not everyone has a doctor who is willing to work for free," McGregor said.

McGregor wants the system changed so others don't have to face the same pressures.

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