2/27/11

Campbellford man spends $26,300 to travel to regional hospital. Build rural hospital services instead!

Here's one account of what happens when patients have to travel for hospitals services.   

Count Earle Nelson has spent, by his own calculations, more than $26,300 on transportation, parking and passes since 2007 travelling to hospitals an hour or more away three times a week to be hooked up to a machine that keeps him alive.

"Not only is it costly to travel but also very stressful and anxiety often happens when weather conditions or other factors cause difficult situations that are detrimental to the well-being of a patient," he said last week.

Mr. Nelson was speaking at a special meeting organized by six of his fellow tenants at Campbellford Memorial Multicare Lodge to generate support for people who suffer from renal failure.

"The time has come. A dialysis unit must be considered a priority for Campbellford Memorial Hospital," said Mr. Nelson, who told one audience member he receives "a little, but nothing much" in the way of help for his out-of-pocket expenses.

Yet there is a powerful trend these days to centralize hospital services in larger centres.  Small hospital services are in peril, and more travel costs for patients are a distinct threat.  Smaller communities will have to continue to push to build their hospital services.

dallan@cupe.ca


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