WINNIPEG – A Manitoba man who’s dealing with a medical bill of $118,000 due to emergency surgery he required in the US may be getting some help from the provincial government.
Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen is hoping to directly address the issue with Robin Milne, who lives in Sprague.
He suffered a heart attack in October 2016 and is allowed to seek health care south of the border as part of a deal between Manitoba Health and hospitals in Minnesota.
However, he needed emergency surgery and an air ambulance from Winnipeg wasn’t going to make it in time so doctors sent him to Grand Forks, which is not covered by the Altru agreement.
Minister Goertzen originally said he couldn’t write a cheque to cover the massive bill and there’s still one issue he needs to sort out with Milne.
“I do need to speak to Altru because they… were asking for the flight,” says Goertzen. “I’m still seeking permission from Mr. Milne to speak to them on his behalf.”
However, Goertzen says the agreement, which is only three pages long, needs to be updated.
“You couldn’t buy a car for a three page agreement these days,” says Goertzen. “When you look at the agreement, there’s no dispute mechanism [and] there’s no appeal mechanism. It doesn’t specify which services are available. It doesn’t specify who is actually covered under the agreement.”
Goertzen adds that the agreement is under review and Manitoba Health is still looking into Milne’s case.