(Ethan Morneau / Victoria Buzz)

Displaced Ukrainians will be receiving additional support upon arriving in BC, the provincial government announced on Monday. 

The province revealed that Ukrainians that have fled the war-stricken country will have access to immediate MSP coverage upon their arrival, under the federal Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET).

The CUAET, an accelerated temporary residence pathway which allows Ukrainians to work and stay in Canada, was introduced by the federal government due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

Under the CUAET, Ukrainians and their family members can apply for a three-year Temporary Resident Visa or Open Work Permit.

“We anticipate that some individuals arriving in British Columbia from Ukraine will need medical services immediately,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. 

“That’s why our government is working across ministries to ensure that eligible newcomers who arrive will have access to the service and support they need, when they need it to ensure the softest landing possible after an unimaginable ordeal.”

Now, the province is working alongside the federal government to ensure those feeling the conflict in Ukraine are welcomed to the province as efficiently as possible, including receiving MSP coverage upon arrival. 

“While actively working on assessing and supporting the most essential needs of displaced people from Ukraine arriving in British Columbia, 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 counseling,” said Natalie Jatskevich, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, BC Provincial Council. 

“We welcome the B.C. government decision to provide Medical Service Plan coverage for Ukrainians who enter into B.C. under the CUAET. This important step guarantees that displaced Ukrainians will have access to the most vital services and have their immediate health care needs addressed in our province.”

There will be no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can apply for the CUAET and receive date-of-arrival MSP coverage. 

The provincial government is encouraging those arriving in British Columbia from Ukraine under the CUAET to submit their application for MSP enrolment as soon as they arrive. 

Applications can be completed online or by calling 1-800-663-7100.

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