Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Health Care Stories: Ajax, Ontario, Canada

Michelle tells us how OHIP has helped her care for her epileptic daughter.

My 5-year-old daughter hit her head and started having seizures. We went to the emergency room at the local hospital (funded by OHIP—Ontario Health Insurance Plan) and later she was air ambulanced to Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto (all funded by OHIP). They stated that since her seizures were not currently happening they could do nothing further.

I ended up taking her to our family doctor for a visit (OHIP funded this session) to find a neurologist (again fully funded by OHIP), and an EMG test was ordered (during the SARS scare back in 2002), as well as an MRI. It took about 2 to 3 weeks to get the EMG (again, the SARS problem was going on), and once the results of the EMG were received, we managed to get an MRI completed at Sick Children’s Hospital within 6 days.

The neurologist has been monitoring her for 7 years now (again fully OHIP funded) and calls for regular blood work (fully funded by OHIP). This includes monitoring her medication (sorry OHIP does not fund medication); however, her father and I are blessed to have extended health, which between the two plans fully funds this medication. If not, we would be out of pocket about 1,000.00 yearly.

I will add another story to this already bad situation.

Due to her seizures and having additional problems with school and issues with memory (very common with children and epilepsy), we had to take her to a pediatrician whose specialty is learning disorders (again fully funded by OHIP). With the help of this doctor we were able to determine that during the time when she was having seizures and we were getting her medication on track to stop having seizures, she was not retaining anything she learned in the younger grades. This doctor did sign a release to state that she medically required tutoring to catch up (however I was not able to find a tutor who met the government of Ontario/Canada’s qualification for this type of tutoring). So I did pay out of pocket for a year of tutoring to help catch up, which did bring her up 4 school years. The doctor did give a referral to her school and, fully funded through the Ontario education system, she currently has a laptop computer with programs in order to help in regard to her learning disabilities (also found out she is dyslexic and has ADHD). The laptop improved her learning ability, and was honored at her Grade 8 graduation with Most Improved Student of the Year. Again another down side is that ADHD medication is not funded by OHIP. However, in Ontario if you can’t afford it, most doctors can give out vouchers for monthly free medication if you cannot financially afford the medication. However, having extended health through both of our employers really helps again.

Also, both of our extended health provide for massage therapy; we have started having our daughter attend, and this helps with relaxation and seizures.

Ajax, Ontario, Canada

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1 comment:

Suzan said...

No healthcare or insurance except for a few contract jobs which discouraged its use since '94.

No jobs either for those overage and -qualified.

Thanks for your efforts to gather data on this society-killing affliction.

H/t to Dg,


Almost glad I don't know what my blood pressure is.