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Man alleges rude treatment after asking for English service at hospital

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A 32-year-old Verdun man claims he and his girlfriend were treated to verbal abuse and kicked out of the Verdun Hospital after asking for service in English.

Jabari Radway said he took his 24-year-old girlfriend to the Verdun Hospital earlier this week after she complained of chest pains. The doctor attended to her and told her to see a nurse for further bloodwork and other tests. When Radway asked the nurse to explain what he was doing in English to his non-French speaking girlfriend...

"He basically just said to me, 'This is Quebec and how stupid can she f***ing be, because he was asking her to put her hand on the desk to draw some blood," Radway said.

"Then he told us, 'This is Quebec. If we're not happy, get the f*** out of the hospital.' And he picked up the vials that he was supposed to take to draw her blood with and shot everything in the garbage."

Radway, who speaks and understands French, said he tried to get a supervisor to intervene and to get his girlfriend the tests she needed, adding he wasn't being confrontational. He said that's when they called security to escort them out. His girlfriend ended up going to the Jewish General Hospital and is doing alright. Radway said the incident was unacceptable and upsetting and wants the worker disciplined.

"Maybe a suspension or a public apology or something. Something needs to be done," Radway said.

"When it came to my girlfriend's health, and it's a hospital and it's not like you're going to Tim Horton's and you ask for something and they want to speak to you in French rather than reply to you in English, that's something small," Radway said.

"But when it's a hospital or a healthcare place, her rights as a human being in this country, in this province, I believe she should be able to be served in English."

A spokesperson for the Verdun Hospital says they can't investigate further because no complaint was filed. Monique Guay said it may have been an isolated incident and they won't comment.

Radway said he fully intends to register one. He said he phoned the hospital and expects to hear from them next week.

Guay said while most of their staff are francophone, they have the duty and responsibility towards anglophone patients to find someone who speaks English or to find a way to make them understand. She said they do have anglophone patients and they are well-served for the most part, adding they are surprised to learn of such an incident.

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