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Travel grant woes

To the editor: I am writing this letter in hopes of saving other Ontarians from the disappointment and anger I have been subjected to. In September 2009, a close friend became the victim of a significant medical emergency.
To the editor:

I am writing this letter in hopes of saving other Ontarians from the disappointment and anger I have been subjected to.

In September 2009, a close friend became the victim of a significant medical emergency. After hospitalization here, it was felt she would be better served by going to the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre. She would be flown out via Air Ambulance and I would be allowed to accompany her.

Paperwork for the Northern Health Travel Grant was filled out by the physician and we were on our way. Well she was on her way. I could not fly with her as the plane was full.

Due to the gravity of the situation, I packed and left immediately for Winnipeg by car. Due to mechanical difficulties with the plane here in Thunder Bay, I arrived 30 minutes after her in Winnipeg.

After five surgeries and the amputation of her left leg, we were ready to come back to Thunder Bay. I, of course, drove my car back while she flew.

Once back in Thunder Bay, I filled out the remainder of the paper work required for the grant.

And I waited. Finally I started to send emails of inquiry to the Ontario MOH – they were looking into it.

My MPP, Bill Mauro, received several emails from me and did not respond. His office said they would inform him.

On the evening of Jan. 16 I received a phone call from an administrative assistant to the MOH telling me I did not qualify for the grant as I drove to Winnipeg instead of flying.
These people were quite aware of the reason I did not fly, but, as far as he was concerned, the policy read the way it did and I was out of luck.

So, if this should happen to you, I suggest you either tell the paramedic on the flight to leave or fly the plane yourself.

Marilyn Elvish-Stephenson,
Thunder Bay




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