Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Canadian woman seeks help with living expenses while waiting for lung transplant

The Canadian health care system covers most everything related to hospital expenses for surgery and medical treatment but many patients have to travel to distant centers for specialized procedures such as lung transplants. This can impose a huge financial burden on the patients and their support persons who must be able to pay for travel, food and accommodations while waiting for their transplant in addition to maintaining their residence back home. Some provinces, such as Ontario, help with expenses for residents who must travel from their homes to centers within the province. Read Ontario's guidelines.

This story about a Prince Edward Island woman who has been asking for financial help while living a thousand miles from home in Toronto while she waits for her lung transplant highlights the problem. Now the politicians are taking up her cause. We wish her luck in this quest.

Transplant patient needs province's help: Crane

The P.E.I. government has to stop dragging its heels and come up with some assistance for a woman waiting for a double-lung transplant in Toronto, says Opposition leader Olive Crane.

Crane wants the province to help Stratford resident Melissa MacPhail with living expenses. The 31-year-old is living in Ontario while waiting for the operation, which will be performed in Toronto.

Crane said most other provinces cover housing costs for transplant recipients who have to live out-of-province while waiting for surgery. It's unacceptable that P.E.I. only covers health-care expenses, she said.

Crane first asked the health minister for help for MacPhail back in the fall, and the minister told her the province would look into her case.

"A point was made in the legislature that he was going to review Melissa's case in particular and help her," Crane told CBC News Tuesday.

"Yesterday when I spoke with her directly in Toronto, she told me that government's been telling her that they're going to come up with some solutions. However they have been telling her that for January, February, and March. And as you know, April is around the corner and she is still left waiting."

Crane said to make matters worse, MacPhail has been told the province might not continue to pay for her oxygen.

Read more:

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant.

No comments: