More than 25-hundred immigration hopefuls tested positive for the virus from January 2002 - when Ottawa first began screening - to the end of 2006. And only 126 of them were refused entry.Over 2500 that applied, less the 126 that were denied entry, that leaves approximately 2400 that were admitted. 2400 HIV-positive newcomers times the healthcare cost of $1,100 a month - that's $2,640,000 a month or $31,680,000 a year.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada says these people aren’t considered a public health risk nor an excessive burden on the medical system.
Then again, a Calgary-based medical-cost study done in 2003 said that on average, it cost more than $1,100 a month to care for people with HIV.
And let's not forget - 2400 HIV-positive immigrants - those are only the ones we know of. There must be at least several thousands more that are unaccounted for, simply because Citizenship And Immigration Canada didn't bother to test potential immigrants for HIV before 2002. So in fact the overall amount spent on providing healthcare to HIV-positive migrants is much higher; probably - as high as $100M a year.
Even if it doesn't sound like much compared to Canada's multi-billion healthcare budget - how many hospital downsizings could that money prevent? How many much needed hospital beds in Canada's remote areas could that money pay for? Show me any province, any hospital that has some extra millions (let alone - tens of millions of dollars) to spend on accommodating the needs of a small, yet costly group of patients from abroad...
So why did the government at the time chose to place that burden on Canadian healthcare system? Because those migrants belonged to a special interest group nobody wants to be accused of discriminating against. And then they complain that our healthcare needs more money.