Canada ‘They could not help us’: No bed in Ontario, Toronto man with pneumonia dies in Florida

23:50  09 march  2018
23:50  09 march  2018 Source:   nationalpost.com

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Seven weeks before Londoner Stuart Cline died in an Ontario hospital after being stranded in Mexico awaiting a hospital bed here, a Toronto -area man suffered a similar fate, his family says. Bryan Sockett, 72, suffered with pneumonia for two weeks in the Dominican Republic while waiting for an

Seven weeks before Londoner Stuart Cline died in an Ontario hospital after being stranded in Mexico awaiting a hospital bed here, a Toronto -area man suffered a similar fate, his family says. Bryan Sockett, 72, suffered with pneumonia for two weeks in the Dominican Republic while waiting for an.

1298010631690_ORIGINAL: Brian Sockett, 72 and his wife Ellen, one month before he died after his family and insurer tried for two weeks, unsuccessfully, to have him returned from a vacation to a hospital in the Toronto region.© Handout Brian Sockett, 72 and his wife Ellen, one month before he died after his family and insurer tried for two weeks, unsuccessfully, to have him returned from a vacation to a hospital in the Toronto region. Seven weeks before Londoner Stuart Cline died in an Ontario hospital after being stranded in Mexico awaiting a hospital bed here, a Toronto-area man suffered a similar fate, his family says.

Bryan Sockett, 72, suffered with pneumonia for two weeks in the Dominican Republic while waiting for an Ontario hospital to commit to providing an intensive care bed, his health insurer so desperate it moved him to a Florida hospital where he died Jan. 19, his family told The Free Press and posted on Facebook.

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‘ We contacted the Canadian Embassy, the Ministry of Health and my ­brother-in-law literally travelled hospital to hospital to plead for a bed ’.

“I’m extremely saddened and outraged at the state of our health-care system today,” Sockett’s daughter, Kathy Paul, wrote on her Facebook page.

“We contacted the Canadian Embassy, the Ministry of Health and my ­brother-in-law literally travelled hospital to hospital to plead for a bed. They could not help us. We finally convinced the insurance company to move him to Fort Lauderdale. . . . Unfortunately, it was too late. The infections he had contracted had worsened and his system was shutting down. He passed away the following day.”

Asked about the family’s claims Thursday, a spokesperson for Health Minister Helena Jaczek said they would be reviewed, and in the meantime, Jaczek had sent a letter seeking a meeting with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

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“As you are likely aware, there have been several instances where insurers have been delayed in repatriating Ontario residents following accident, injury or medical concern while travelling outside Ontario,” Jaczek wrote in a letter obtained by The Free Press.

“I take these cases very seriously and would like to work with our insurance companies to look at ways to improve . . . I would request your support in convening a meeting in the coming weeks with insurers to discuss the issues they are facing in finding appropriate medical care for patients returning home.”

The minister’s letter was sent as NDP Leader Andrea Horwath pressed the Liberal government about delays for a Londoner returning home after suffering a heart attack in Arizona.

On Dec. 1, Joe Glowacki suffered a heart attack in Sun City, Ariz. The next day, his insurance company was ready to fly him to London and had a cardiologist lined up at London Health Sciences Centre, but the hospital could not find an available bed, the family later told the NDP.

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After waiting an additional three days, the insurer placed Glowacki on a commercial flight. After he arrived home, his family doctor was able to refer him to another cardiologist. Glowacki ended up having three stents put in.

Glowacki reached out to London West NDP MPP Peggy Sattler because he was angered by the way the Liberal government has responded to claims by other families who say their loved ones were stranded abroad waiting for a hospital bed in Ontario.

“All of these people were told they couldn’t go home because there were no beds available when they faced a health care emergency,” said Horwath. “And many more are in hallways or waiting rooms waiting for a bed. This is not a small glitch in the system, this a symptom of decades of health care cuts by consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments. It didn’t happen overnight.

In emails to The Free Press and in Face­book posts, the Sockett family says his death sapped the faith they had in Canadian health care.

“Our family has been devastated,” Paul wrote. “I never in a million years would have thought that the health care in the United States was better than in Canada. We felt abandoned by our own country and there was nothing we could do about it.”

A funeral for Cline will be held Saturday. He died last weekend at a St. Catharines hospital after waiting five days to be taken home from a Mexican hospital — help arriving after The Free Press wrote about his plight.

A Subway franchise owner in London who had retired, Cline, too, had bought travel health insurance.

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-66070-they-could-not-help-us-no-bed-in-ontario-toronto-man-with-pneumonia-dies-in-florida/

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