November 20, 2012 ( updated Nov 21, 2012)
This evening’s uninsured free clinic brought clarity to confusion, and more confusion.
More refugee claimants denied access to care by family doctors. This failure to provide care because of only a “perceived” lack of IFH insurance, is stunning. It is unacceptable professional irresponsibility.
One patient had chest pain and valid IFH. Another, a child of 7 with a cleft lip and palate that had become infected, had valid IFH. Another, a 28 year old diabetic is 10 weeks pregnant. Her 2 children were with her tonight. She lost her last pregnancy, and her unborn child, due to high blood pressure at 5 months gestation, brought on by religious violence and threats to kidnap and kill her family in an Asian country.
They fled to Canada and were provided with IFH upon their refugee claim. That IFH is valid. The IFH of all the above persons is valid.
So why did they all come to a free volunteer clinic for medical care? They can get care from other family doctors, right. Apparently not.
The family of the pregnant diabetic lady tried 8 family physician offices in the past 48 hours, seeking medical care. They were turned down by all. At several of the offices they were told to pay $50 up front if they wanted care. This is in spite of having valid IFH medical coverage. Extra billing is illegal.
No one checked their IFH papers. None of the doctors bothered to call Blue Cross to determine if the IFH coverage was valid. It was.
Here is what we are now seeing. Patients, refugee claimants new to Canada with medically urgent problems, with valid IFH medical coverage, are being denied care and in some cases asked to pay more, by area family doctors who refuse to undertake their care because of the confusion and additional paper work the new IFH – Blue Cross – CIC created. We also experience horrible problems obtaining their prior files. Physicians who drop their care then charge them for care, and the file transfer to us so we can care for them.
The Ontario Medical Association, The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and The College of Family Physicians of Canada should strongly remind their members of their professional responsibilities when it comes to refusing care, safely and professionally transferring community care of their ill patients, and charging money in these cases for care and chart transfer when the physician refuses care.
The CIC and Mr Kenney should issue statements that once and for all clear up the confusing mess their ill conceived policies and mis-managed roll out have created.
Preferably before another medically uninsured someone is injured, or dies.