Life saving machine collects dust while patients suffer

Ron Giles
There is a life saving medical equipment sitting at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto collecting dust while the government spends more money sending patients out of province or the patient just suffers.
The machine was donated by the US manufactor 5 years ago and the hospital has done nothing with it.
There are many people that are suffering in Ontario when they could get treatments from this machine and they wouldn't have to suffer. One man I talked to says he is reminded of his disease every time he takes a breath. He is appealing the Ontario Health to get them to pay for treatments.
When you see that, then it is like you are walking away from someone drowning and hoping someone else will save them. I have started a website and I put on there a letter that can be faxed to your Ontario MPP. Please don't let this gentleman drown. We need your help. Please go to the website. (external - login to view)
the caracal kid
doesn't this come down to the difference between holding an asset and the cost to opperate an asset?

quite often we see equiptment sit unused. While it seems like "why is this not in use?" sometimes the reality is that it would cost more to operate than those in charge can justify. When it comes to healthcare this sounds cruel to the patients, however one must remember all these services have set budgets and must make choices on how to get the "greatest benefit" from those dollars. This is why i think allowing people to pay to have services involving expensive equiptment would be a wise move as long as the money raised from this is put back into operating the equipment under the provincial health services. I prefer this much more than the hypocricy of hospitals with tim hortons in them to raise extra operatring revenues.
Ron Giles
You are right. We can't expect them to treat everything out there. Each piece of equipment you would have to evaluate to see if we can justify to use it. In this case it was reported in the Globe and Mail that it cost 1.6 million to send 10 patients out of province when it would of cost 300,000. I am the unrelated bone marrow donor to a young teen that needs this photopheresis treatment and he is getting the treatments in Calgary. Since he has had the treatments his mom figures that his skin has improved about 15%. It is actually cheaper to do the photopheresis treatments hear while the photopheresis machine is collecting dust.
the caracal kid
isn't this procedure new and experimental? (just checking if i am remembering the correct proceedure)

How many cases a year are there in Ontario?

The large beaurocracies of healthcare operate at an elepahant's pace. They are deciding on budgets well in advance of their operational time and sometimes the projected need is different from the actual need (either more or less demand). The result is either insufficient resources or idle capital & people).

What do you think is the solution to the way health services are managed in Canada?
Ron Giles
Most people don't know anything about this machine and you know something. The machine is newer to Canada. It is approved in Canada for T-Cell Lymphoma and GVHD. It hasn't been approved for about 5 years in Canada. In US it has been approved since 1998. I can't tell you the number of cases exactly. I talked to one lady that is suffering from T-Cell and she says about 25 have T-cell. That is just the one disease. I know that Princess Margaret on their website do about 280 marrow transplant a year. Out of those 280 there will be a great deal that go on to develope GVHD. I talked to another gentleman who is suffering and they don't want to pay for his treatments. The numbers are there to justify the machine. It isn't like they even have to buy the machine. The money now would be for training.

Don't get me wrong. It wouldn't be a easy decision on deciding what to fund. I think this is a no brainer. The reason they will save is because if they had a machine they would have to treat everybody. Now they deny people that need treatments out of Country unless you complain loud enough. The young teen Tom Garrett that I donated bone marrow too is improving so much. I got to meet the family in July and I seen him suffer so much. When I first met him, I had to be very careful when I hugged him. In july the Ontario health said no to paying for his treatments. I started a website and we did media attention and they finally agreed to pay for the treatments.
You done good,Ron.
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