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Ontario Health Care system the proverbial Grinch

As the picture shows, this family has had to fight in order to get the Ontario Health Care system to do the caring thing.
As the picture shows, this family has had to fight in order to get the Ontario Health Care system to do the caring thing.
Photo by Melanie Hennessey

For many it would seem, a comparison of the Ontario Health system to the Grinch who stole Christmas is aptly applied. But it also seems that like the grinch with the tiny, tiny heart sometimes that heart can grow just a little bit, for a little while, with enough pressure.

As reported in the Independent & Free Press a family in the small town of Acton, has been forced to battle the Ontario Health Care system in order to get their infant daughter, who suffers from a life threatening rare form of epilepsy, the essential care she needs at home. When confronted with a the bureaucratic and apparent heartless rules of the Ontario Heath Care system, this family did what they had to do for their child, they took action.

With the help of a petition that raised over 1,800 signatures, and the intervention on their behalf by MPP Ted Arnott’s office, they were able to win an “exemption” to the rules for their daughter. While the news is good for this Acton family, it is far from good news for all those who have been denied because of the rules that govern palliative care. Under the rules, you can only receive 90 days of home oxygen therapy and care. It would appear that under this rule, you are expected to die in 90 days, so you can receive oxygen therapy for 90 days and after that, well that is that.

Why do people have to suffer in Ontario, why do parents have to go through heart wrenching agony when their child or loved one is in need of services and yet in an heartless act of bureaucratic rules they are denied. In a system where only 20% of every dollar designated for palliative care under the Ontario Health Care system actually goes toward the patient care, is there any wonder why such rules exist in this organization? When 80% is internally siphoned off through various forms, rules must be put in place to diminish the services and cost of services to the those in need.

While the medical bill rise, and the services for their daughter decrease, the rules of this Health Care organization only add further expense and pain to an already sad and desperate situation. Until this exemption, this family has had to go through the agony each time the monitor sounded to indicate their daughter was in need of oxygen, helpless to give their daughter the oxygen she needed. Yet this little girl fought on despite the rules, and now with the exemption this family has, they can have a little more time with their child with a little less agony of having to watch her suffer.

Hold your breath for as long as you can stand it, then force yourself to try and hold it just one second more, you will get a sense of what it is like to be deprived the oxygen you need, but of course in your case you can take that breath. Sadly this is the world we live in, when rules are made and the humanity is removed to be replaced by heartless bureaucracy, people suffer needlessly. While this is good news for this family, still others are not so fortunate, and so this family fights on for others that are in need of a little compassion from the Ontario Heath Care system.

You can Help

To help in this cause, please visit and support in what ever way you can the effort to bring some heart and humanity into the Ontario Health Care system.

Visit here and search for “Piper Gibson” and Sign Petition

For those local to Acton, a Zumbathon is in the works for September to help support and cover the rising medical costs this family has incurred. On September 27th, 11am to 1pm at the Acton Town Hall for the small price of a $20.00 donation you can attend what this “Party for Piper Zumbathon Charity event.”

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