Windsor Travelers Story
David Williams, a Belle River man, and his wife Carol are snowbirds and had traveled to Tampa Bay for winter stays; thankfully, the couple has travel insurance coverage. Williams had a heart attack on January 4, 2018, but his insurer wanted him back home for medical care and surgery. According to Williams, his American cardio doctor advised him not to wait any longer, after he had waited three weeks in a hospital near Tampa. The surgeon said he was prepared to do it for free.
Williams had double bypass surgery on January 24, 2018 and he was cleared to travel back home on February 12. The insurance company provided a nurse to accompany him. The case of Williams added intensity over the already ongoing debate on the obvious shortage of intensive care beds in Ontario.
During Question Period on Monday, the Progressive Conservative interim leader, Vic Fedeli blamed the tragedy on the government stating that the government has refused to properly fund hospitals across the province. According to Williams, the medical attention at the Brandon Regional Hospital in the east of Tampa was outstanding but the cost was very expensive. The grand total of the medical bill for William’s heart attack was US$673,161.98.
Williams noted that he understands why the insurer did not want the operation to take place in Florida. The bills are indicative of why they wanted it to hold in Canada.
Andrea Horwath, an NDP leader, also blamed the tragedy on the Liberals in the Legislature on Thursday and also on Friday in Windsor. She cited the case of a London man, Joe Glowacki who had a heart attack in Arizona who was flown back home but there was no hospital bed at the hospital.
However, Premier Kathleen Wynne agreed that the incidents are tragedies but she said that intensive care beds were available in hospitals in Ontario. Also, Wynne blamed the disconnect between the insurer and the health system for the ordeal. But MPP Taras Natyshak said that the Ontario’s hospital overcrowding issue is a tragedy. He further added that the Premier was wrong in calling it a disconnect and that she is throwing blames to the wrong party.
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