Every Bit Helps

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Date: 2007

A social worker contacted the Ombudsman’s Office on behalf of a patient who had had part of one leg amputated, and needed hemodialysis treatments three times a week at a local hospital.  The patient received Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits and his municipality subsidized his accommodation in a retirement home.  Still, after he paid his monthly accommodation fees, he had $116 left for all his other expenses, out of which he had to pay $96 a month to a community-based agency for transportation to his hemodialysis treatments.  He also had to pay an annual deductible for drugs through the Ministry of Health’s Trillium Drug Program.

The Ombudsman’s Office contacted the Ministry to see what help could be provided for this desperate patient.  A Ministry consultant arranged that he would no longer have to pay the agency, which also received some Ministry funding, for transportation.  In addition, the Trillium Drug Program agreed to review the man’s file and extend him retroactive benefits for three months of the 2005 benefit year, as well as allowing his social worker to submit some past medication receipts for reimbursement.  The social worker advised the Ombudsman’s Office that these extra funds were greatly appreciated as they would allow the patient to pay a large outstanding pharmacy debt.