Room for An Exception

Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (Northern Health Travel Grant)

Date: 2009

Room for An ExceptionA Sault Ste. Marie woman gave birth to a three-pound baby girl, 11 weeks premature. The baby was taken to a hospital in London, Ont. for special care, but the mother was unable to go with her, as she herself had to remain in hospital. When she was released, she and her husband traveled to London to be with their daughter, who was in hospital for 2 ½ weeks.

The mother complained to the Ombudsman after the Northern Health Travel Grant program refused to reimburse her travel costs, because its policy requires that that the claimant must have accompanied the patient.

After Ombudsman staff contacted the program, its officials acknowledged the woman’s exceptional circumstances and confirmed that her presence at her daughter’s hospital was required. The mother received a reimbursement cheque for $748.