Fliss Cramman, who grew up in Canada but is facing deportation to Britain won’t be provided health coverage by the Nova Scotia government, a development advocates say could make it harder to win her release from custody.
Cramman, a 33-year-old mother of four, arrived in Canada when she was eight years old – but her parents failed to obtain her citizenship.
In 2014, she was convicted of offering to traffic heroin, sentenced to 27 months in prison and detained again when the Canada Border Services Agency looked into her citizenship.
Darlene MacEachern of the Elizabeth Fry Society said Thursday the provincial Health Department confirmed it wouldn’t provide health coverage because Cramman is not a Canadian citizen.
“One of the major concerns was that Fliss couldn’t be released without health care,” said MacEachern.
Earlier in the day, provincial Health Minister Leo Glavine said correspondence had been sent to the society, but he refused discuss the province’s response.
MacEachern said a plan to provide private health-care funding would be presented during a hearing at the Dartmouth General Hospital on Friday. She said fundraising is already underway.
“This would have been so simplified if (provincial health care) had been reinstated,” MacEachern said. “We could have just gone forward and said that part of the risk is covered and now we just have to do a whole lot more work.”
Federal officials say Cramman could be deported as early as Dec. 16.
A Canadian Border Services Agency doctor has deemed Cramman fit to travel with a nurse by that date, despite her surgeon’s warning that she is in fragile health and needs to remain in the country for about 18 months to recover from a series of colon surgeries.
The surgeries were completed after she was rushed to hospital from a prison facility in Dartmouth, N.S., on Aug. 12.
The Elizabeth Fry Society has asked that Cramman be removed from the detention list and released into its care at a halfway house in Sydney, N.S.
The organization has said it will help Cramman address long-standing mental health issues and a drug addiction that arose after years of physical and sexual abuse.
After she was convicted in 2014, she served two-thirds of her sentence and was released on parole. That’s when she was detained by the Canada Border Services Agency, which started the deportation process.