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Hurt in an accident? Don’t count of getting the treatment you need says Globe & Mail

While Canada was glued to their TVs watching Latvia play their version of a prevent defence in American Football, or an ultra conservative soccer defence, another story creeped up which caught my eye.

Today’s front page of the Globe & Mail had a story about Canadian Doctors being urged by 8 medical societies to reduce medical tests in order to save money.

Here is a copy of that Globe & Mail article.

The gist of this article states that Canadian doctors are wasting their time and money on unnecessary tests. All of these tests are a burden to the Canadian health care system. Imaging for complicated headaches, and lower back pain are seen as some of those unnecessary tests. Treatment for “minor” head injuries is also on the list. Just ask Sidney Crosby. No head injury is minor.

Tell that to some of my car accident and chronic pain clients. It would likely make them sick to their stomachs. Ever wait for an MRI? The wait period is months long (unless you get really lucky), and the time you get is very firm. Miss it, and you’re sent back to the bottom of the wait list. Months and months more of waiting around. The best is when they call you in for an MRI at 2AM or some other absurd time.

Somebody who was interviewed in the article insists that this is about “good medicine” and not about “cost reduction“. I call rubbish.

I’d like to see that person use that same line to the millions of chronic pain sufferers or head injury accident victims who insist they never received any or appropriate medical treatment. Do you think they’d say that sort of thing to Sidney Crosby after his concussion? Heck no. Sid the Kid was sent to the finest brain injury facility in the United States. I’m not suggesting that everyone receive that level of care, but the guise of denying tests because they’re unnecessary; instead of just coming out and saying that we want to save money makes me a tad sick to my stomach.

I can’t begin to tell you the amount of people I meet across ONTARIO, who tell me that the doctors they see, both inside and outside a hospital setting either:

1) send them home from hospital without ordering any scans, only later to find out there’s a compression fracture, disc bulge or something else wrong (only they’re told at the point of treatment that there’s nothing wrong with them)

2) have to wait months and months for a CAT SCAN, MRI or X-Ray
3) have to beg their doctors for a test or a referral to a analyst
4) can’t find a doctor

5) if they have a doctor, the doctor doesn’t think that anything is wrong with them. Months later they’re taken to hospital by ambulance and are later patients in a mental health or chronic pain program

And I’m reading this article from the perspective of a personal injury lawyer. I’m not taking in to consideration the health consequences of not getting the treatment which you may need, or benefit from.

This sort of treatment could not be worse in the context of a personal injury claim. Insurers, Judges and Juries have twisted senses of logic. If you didn’t get any treatment for your alleged injury; then you’re healthy. It doesn’t matter if you live in a remote area and don’t have access to a doctor. Nor does it matter if your doctor refuses to request a test. If the testing/treatment is NOT performed, then you’re deemed to be ok.

I’m not suggesting that we over medicate, or over treat. But, if you read between the lines, what this article is suggesting is that less treatment is more. And that cost reduction is a reasonable excuse NOT to perform good medicine. That’s how I read it. My doctor colleagues may disagree. My clients and the millions of chronic pain sufferers or anyone who has had to wait for hours in the Emergency Room at a hospital only to be sent home after seeing a doctor for 30 seconds will agree.

I can just see Kathleen Wynn on her podium announcing to Ontarians that OHIP will be introducing reforms to promote less testing, and see fewer patients to save Ontario billions of dollars. Less with more as the population soars is name of the game in recent years. _chronic-pain-injuries.jpg

If our government does not want to pay for healthcare, then just come out and say so. A bit of honesty goes a long way. Because if that’s the case, just roll out the privatized HMO’s that we see in the United States so we can put an end to this charade.

One of the most frequently asked questions from our clients is why the car insurance company doesn’t pay for treatment if their driver caused the accident. A very good question, with no real concrete answers without getting in to politics. There are OHIP Subrogated claims against tort feasors in slip and fall cases, dog bites, or other torts which are NOT car accidents. But for car accidents, there is no claim for OHIP Subrogation. I imagine this has to do with Ontario’s no fault system of accident benefits. But our no fault system has been so dwindled down that it really doesn’t provide very much coverage any more.

In serious car accident cases, we may see insurance companies paying the bill for accident victims to receive MRIs. When an insurer pays out of pocket for the MRI, it can take place in a couple of weeks. No need to wait for months like the rest of the tax paying public.

HOT LEGAL TIP: Increase your 3rd party liability coverage on your auto policy from $1,000,0000 to $2,000,000. The cost is around $10/year to do so and is really easy to apply. This is beneficial in case you’re ever at fault for an accident, OR, more importantly, you’re ever involved in a car accident with an uninsured or under insured motor vehicle. Your new increased policy limits will apply giving you additional coverage and peace of mind.”>find a doctor

Congrats to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moire on their silver medal performance in Sochi. They shared a coach with the Americans who won the gold medal. That same coach was in the American parade of athletes at the Opening Ceremonies and not with the Canadians. It has now come to light that Virtue and Moire believe that their coach showed preferential treatment to the American skaters. It begs the question why Skate Canada would not set them up with a more appropriate coach. Why remain with a Coach who believes more strongly in another competitor instead of you? I know that the world of premier ice dance coaches is probably very small, but surely they could have found somebody who wasn’t playing both sides of the fence.

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