9/06/2007

Sometimes Government Insurance Doesn't Really Mean Coverage

Two patients in Canada who couldn't wait for the government insurance program to provide them health care coverage.

Patients suing province over wait times
Man, woman who couldn't get quick treatment travelled to U.S. to get brain tumours removed
Sep 06, 2007 04:30 AM
Tanya Talaga
Health Reporter

. . . Holmes began losing her vision in March 2005, she told a press conference at Queen's Park yesterday. An MRI in May 2005 revealed a tumour in her brain. Her family doctor couldn't expedite appointments booked with specialists for July 19 and Sept. 19, 2005. As the tumour pressed on her optic nerves, her vision deteriorated. Afraid to wait any longer, she went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Within a week she met three specialists and was told she had a fluid-filled sac growing near her pituitary gland at the base of her brain. They urged her to have it taken out immediately. She went home with the hopes of quickly removing what is known as a Rathke's cleft cyst.

Unable to get surgery fast, she returned to Arizona and had the mass removed on Aug. 1, 2005. Her vision was restored in 10 days. The Holmes family is now in debt $95,000 because of medical costs.

"My husband has taken a second full-time job. We've re-mortgaged our home. It has to be known. People can't go through this," said Holmes, a family mediator. "I was very fortunate to save my eyesight but the cost and the battle has been devastating . . . .

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