Wednesday, May 05, 2010

P.E.I. transplant patients to get $1,000 a month for living expenses

CBC News

This is a happy resolution to my previous post about the plight of Melissa MacPhail in seeking help with living expenses while waiting for a lung transplant in Toronto, a thousand miles away from home in Prince Edward Island.

Islanders who have to leave P.E.I. to await organ transplants will get some financial support from the province.

Health Minister Carolyn Bertram announced relief for patients like Melissa MacPhail, a 31-year-old Stratford woman who has been awaiting a lung transplant in Toronto since January.

MacPhail’s case has been widely publicized, and Opposition leader Olive Crane championed her cause in late March, calling on the government to cover housing costs for transplant recipients who have to live out-of-province while waiting for surgery.

Now, patients will be eligible for $1,000 a month for room and board, equivalent to the compensation paid by New Brunswick, Bertram said. Nova Scotia provides up to $1,500 for its patients.

MacPhail has said publicly that her living expenses in Toronto are around $2,000 a month.

Bertram also announced that eligible patients will have access to $1,500 every six months to travel back to P.E.I. if they are awaiting transplants outside the Maritimes.

The money for accommodations and travel will only be available for people who need to leave P.E.I. for heart or lung transplants and for anyone needing liver or non-beta-cell pancreas transplant surgery.

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