Skip to comments.Patients suing province over wait times (Canadians flee to US for care)
Posted on 09/06/2007 4:22:29 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember
Two Ontario patients who had brain tumours removed in the United States because they say they couldn't get quick treatment here are suing the provincial government over what they claim are unjustly long wait times for medical care.
Lindsay McCreith, 66, of Newmarket and Shona Holmes, 43, of Waterdown filed a joint statement of claim yesterday against the province of Ontario. Both say their health suffered because they are denied the right to access care outside of Ontario's "government-run monopolistic" health-care system. They want to be able to buy private health insurance.
Ontario's "monopoly" over essential health services and its delay in providing the services have left both patients to "endure significant financial, emotional and physical hardship to access such services in the United States," states the claim .
The accusations made in the statement of claim have not been proven in court.
Holmes began losing her vision in March 2005, she told a press conference at Queen's Park yesterday. An MRI in May 2005 revealed a tumour in her brain. Her family doctor couldn't expedite appointments booked with specialists for July 19 and Sept. 19, 2005. As the tumour pressed on her optic nerves, her vision deteriorated. Afraid to wait any longer, she went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Within a week she met three specialists and was told she had a fluid-filled sac growing near her pituitary gland at the base of her brain. They urged her to have it taken out immediately. She went home with the hopes of quickly removing what is known as a Rathke's cleft cyst.
Unable to get surgery fast, she returned to Arizona and had the mass removed on Aug. 1, 2005. Her vision was restored in 10 days. The Holmes family is now in debt $95,000 because of medical costs.
"My husband has taken a second full-time job. We've re-mortgaged our home. It has to be known. People can't go through this," said Holmes, a family mediator. "I was very fortunate to save my eyesight but the cost and the battle has been devastating."
David Spencer, a spokesperson for Health Minister George Smitherman, said the minister can say little as this matter is before the courts.
"We understand there is a statement of claim being put forward. It's our intention to be there to vigorously defend the public health system."
The Canadian Constitution Foundation, a non-profit group, is backing the legal action by McCreith and Holmes.
The CCF has dubbed the lawsuit the "Ontario Chaoulli." Dr. Jacques Chaoulli went to court in Quebec on behalf of his patient George Zeliotis, who suffered acute pain while waiting for a hip replacement. In June 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a decision in favour of Chaoulli by striking down Quebec's ban on private health insurance.
Many felt the decision would open the door to increased access to private health-care in Quebec, but that has yet to happen.
Holmes' experience was similar to that of Lindsay McCreith, a retired auto collision repair shop owner. According to the statement of claim, McCreith suddenly experienced seizures on Jan. 2, 2006. After waiting seven hours in a Newmarket emergency ward, he was examined by an internist. A computed tomography or CT scan showed a large wedge-shaped brain tumour. He was discharged from hospital four days later with a diagnosis of stroke and a prescription for anti-seizure medication.
Worried the tumour might be cancerous, McCreith and his family wanted an MRI. He was given an appointment date four months later. McCreith went to the U.S. and paid $494.67 (U.S.) for an MRI. Armed with the scan, he saw his Ontario family doctor, who referred McCreith to a neurologist. He was examined on Feb. 8, 2006. He was referred to a neurosurgeon but would have to wait three months.
Unhappy with this, he returned to Buffalo. In early March, during a biopsy, the tumour was found to be malignant and surgically removed. He paid $27,650 for his consultation, biopsy and surgery in Buffalo and OHIP has refused to reimburse him because he failed to seek pre-approval for the expense, the claim notes.
Where will these poor Canadians go if Hillary and the democrats carry out their carefully crafted plans to seize and destroy the US health delivery system? H*ll, where will WE go?
but.... ours is so bad! M. Moore Said so! < / SARC
I smell an opportunity for me to open a hospital in a nice Caribbean location...or perhaps in the Bahamas...it’s only 46 miles from la Florida at its closest...
Canadian quadruplets were born recently in tiny Great Falls, Montana, hundreds of miles from their home... because there is no adequate fully functioning premature baby care, even in a wealthy province like Alberta. Four babies at once was far more than Canada could cope with.
Best example of Hillarycare I can think of
Sather is an agenda driven drama queen. I hope she gets exactly what she is asking for.
Socialism...The low road to communism...
The extremely ill are supposed to die to save money.
You might do well!
......He paid $27,650 for his consultation, biopsy and surgery.....
Silly man. He could have entered illegally and got it done for free.
The hypocrisy of Hillary is that she would never for one microsecond subject herself or Chelsea personally to what she has planned for you and your loved ones.
They even have a name for it in Canada and the UK: "Euthanasia by queue"
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you!
Hillary is truly evil.
Maybe not. EMTALA requires ERs to stabilize only (for free).
Hillary will take care of this as soon as he’s elected.
Hillary is a power-mad, massive bribe-taking totalitarian who beieves that she can ride health care into office.
The Clinton Library has (illegally) sealed all records of Hillary’s 1993 Health Care Task Force.
Would be ironic, wouldn’t it?
We will go to India. It has state of the art facilities, western-trained doctors, and very low costs.
The Quebec native SHOULD buy US insurance!
And this is the crap hillary and her fiends are trying to shuv down our throats! If she’s such an advocate go to Canada the system is already set up. But my guess is they want this because all the other money pits like social security and medicare are about all dried up thnaks to these crooks and they need a new money pit to suck from! dispicable humans!
When it costs nothing it is often worth exactly that.
I had to go to the Social Security office today to get my pay records corrected. Utter incompetence and teh waiting room was filled with youthful parasistes and recent “immigrants”, for their bogus disabilities, seeking a free ride for the rest of their blood-sucking lives.
All democrats 100%.
‘If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it is free.”
That is a disgrace.
And I gave up due to the endless wait. I had to get back to work.
A taste of health care waits under democrat party plans.
Your tagline applies 100% here.
Thank you for posting this!!
And when you wait in line for bread, and toilet paper becomes a luxury, you have achieved communism!
I believe that is correct..
However you must save your spuds to make vodka in the bath tub.
Was the Airline that sacrificed a goat to the god of the air based in India?
there’s a mistaken belief among some individuals that a government-controlled health care system will
provide to individuals all of their wants.
and it’s not true.
what happens is that some government bureaucrat is forced to parcel out services
to save money the government cannot afford.
Bingo! What the sheeple don't realized is that outrageous waiting lists, euthanasia, and neglect ARE the very basis of socialized medicine, Nothing could be more anti-consumer or anti-human.
Nope. That was in Nepal!
I was attracted to this article because yesterday the physician’s assistant at the village clinic here diagnosed a sore on my face which hasn’t healed for two months as possible skin cancer. I got into the clinic the same day that I called. The visit was quick and professional. The physician’s assistant told me I needed to get to a dermatologist for a biopsy. Yes, I had to deal with the arcane rules of my insurance company, but the personnel there were polite and helpful. Within 25 minutes I had completed my work with the insurance company and set up an appointment for the biopsy within the next three weeks.
I’m sure if my concern was life-threatening I could have gotten in much sooner. However, it’s just a little zit-sized sore that doesn’t heal. Even though the dermatologist is in one of most remote places in North America, apparently he has on site the most up-to-date equipment to deal with my problem.
As I was working through this little problem I wondered what would have happened in a government-run system. I don’t think it would have been as pleasant and quick. I’m sure that there are other people out there with negative experiences - as my father used to say, sh** happens. This time, things went smooth as silk. The difference here is that I was in control of my health care. I don’t like the idea of being a pawn in a bureaucratic system (and as a teacher, let me tell you those systems don’t accomplish much well).
It happens right across Canada every day. People even die from an infected tooth in Canada because dental care is not covered at all by Canada's so called "free" health care system. Nor are drugs, medical devices such as oxygen concentrators, prosthetics's, wheelchairs.
Where will Canadians go if Clinto-care becomes the USA standard? Where some go already, Israel, Paki-stan, Japan, and places in Europe where money talks.
Making that average salary, it costs over $20k per year, taken off your salary in taxes.
In the USA, half that will buy you a top rate plan, plus you'll have 10k to drop into a 401k for your future needs, which once built up, can serve as your own insurance plan by the time you reach retirement age.
If only American's calling for such a disastrous thing called universdal health care, would stop and think.
Sure, there are many things wrong with our system. But they can be fixed, it can be made much cheaper while maintaining top level service. The will to do that is not there however, because too many politicians, Democrats included and probably more so, are bought by those who don't want it fixed.
I can tell you what would happen if you case was in Canada.
First, you’d make an appointment with your family doctor (if you had one) and wait about a month or so for that.
Then he’d send you to a specialist (dermatologist) which could take up to a year, who would then schedule you to have a biopsy, another 3-6 month wait, which because it’s on your face would be done by a cosmetic surgeon.
Sometimes if you have a good doc, he’ll skip the dermatologist and just send you to the cosmetic surgeon to have it removed regardless, just to be on the safe side.
You can’t in most cases simply walk into a specialists office such as a dermatologist without first seeing the family physician, usually a GP. They are the front line docs who send you to the specialist you need and the situation calls for.
Post 41: Outstanding analysis!
>>I can tell you what would happen if you case was in Canada.<<
Thanks for giving me the run-down here about the Canadian system. I figured it would be long waits and official rules, but I didn’t think it would be that onerous. Wow.
Interestingly, or maybe, predictably, the dermatologists that I’m going to see in Anchorage are all Canadians. At least, I presume they are, since they are all certified by the both the American and Canadian medical organizations for dermatologists... and they all have names like “Jayne” and “Thompson.” I’m sure that physicians flee the Canadian system in the same manner as the patients.
I was in Quebec last weekend. Most people I talked to were extremely snide about the health care system there. Then, I ran into the anomaly. I was talking to an 18 year old who was recently diagnosed with a rare syndrome. She was glowing about the system there. How did that happen? Just curious and I will fight not to have Hillary care!