AVEQ demands fair and equitable health insurance for international students

Chicoutimi, March 6 2017

Today, we are publishing the results of our research on health insurance, and are calling for international students to have access to RAMQ coverage as soon as possible. In our view, the current situation is unacceptable. As the show La Facture demonstrated on January 19 2016, the health insurance provided to international students leaves them in an extremely vulnerable position. This program presented the story of Awa Cheik Diop, who received a $100,000 bill for giving birth to her child. The highly problematic nature of this situation led AVEQ, in collaboration with Mouvement des associations générales étudiantes de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (MAGE-UQAC), to investigate this situation further.

It is clear that Awa’s case was simply the tip of the iceberg. The health insurance coverage offered to international students in Quebec is, in our view, incredibly limited, insensitive, unjust, and an indignity. International students are welcome in Quebec and contribute a great deal to Quebec society. It is unacceptable to leave people who enrich our society with knowledge in this kind of situation. Currently, international students must pay as much as $1099 a year for inadequate, non-transparent, private coverage. MAGE-UQAC and AVEQ see this situation as unacceptable.

Our recommendations for rectifying this situation are as follows:

  1. Addition of medical services to the current insurance plans and improvements to medical coverage
  2. Transparency in the cost of medical services
  3. Transparency from universities regarding insurance premiums
  4. A non-discriminatory healthcare system
  5. The right to choose an insurance policy
  6. Recognition of the private insurance card by healthcare providers
  7. Abolishing the monopoly held by private insurance companies
  8. Student participation in the negotiations with insurance companies
  9. Providing a health insurance card under the Régime d’Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ)

Our full report is available here.

AVEQ’s mission is to defend both Anglophone and francophone students, with particular attention to the realities of students in the regions. AVEQ currently represents 33,000 Québec students, and associations representing 100,000 students are actively participating in its creation.


Contact :

Christopher Gyorffy (General Coordinator, AVEQ)




Roxanne St-Pierre (Communications officer, MAGE-UQAC)

418-545-5011 poste 2019/581-234-3474


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