Uninsured Refugee clinic Aug 21st, 2012
This week, for the first time in 13 years, we sat after clinic and wondered if we would be able to stay open? Our volunteer family doctor had finished her own office in the day, and arrived at 5 pm in the volunteer clinic. When we were finished, we counted. We had treated 34 medically uninsured patients. This was 10 more than the volunteer doctor treated in her regular OHIP practice that day. It is 20 patients more than we used to see before Bill C31 and the IFH cuts from the Federal Conservatives.
A 14 year old daughter brought her 48 year old father to clinic. They waited patiently for 2 hours to be seen. They were 2nd last. The arrived 2nd last. They had travelled by bus. Their trip took 2 hours. They went home together by bus late that night. Public transit in Scarborough is not very good.
Shanthi was the translator for her father, although her father might have managed well enough. Her English was impeccable. She and her father ( from Bangladesh), and their mother used to have IFH. It was now ineffective, despite not being expired..
Shanthi required her immunization list to be updated and transferred to a TDSB / TPH card and paper so she could attend school. Her father is diabetic. He required a blood test, a renewal of his medications, and, ongoing medical care. Together, their doctor now required $100 before treatment visits.
Our nurses and doctor were able to take care of their needs, for now. They were invited back for a follow up for her father’s diabetes.
On the way out Shanthi turned and looked at the nurse. In a soft voice, she said “Thank you”, then, she turned to the doctor, again, “Thank you”.
I noticed she was crying. She walked out holding her father’s hand.