Travel costly for vascular surgery patient

P.E.I. should be considering out of pocket expenses for Islanders when deciding whether to offer vascular surgery on or off Island, says a vascular surgery patient.

P.E.I. should be considering out of pocket expenses for Islanders when deciding whether to offer vascular surgery on or off Island, says a vascular surgery patient.

Sean Isaac has had to travel to Halifax for medical appointments for his vascular medical issues since February 2012. The Island's only vascular surgeon, Dr. Peter Midgley, resigned his post on the Island that month, saying he was overworked and the province needed a second surgeon.

Isaac is now travelling to Halifax to see Midgley. He said he pays for gas, the bridge toll, and both he and his wife take time off work while he is treated at QE2 hospital in Halifax. The occasional unplanned trip can be extra expensive.

"One time it cost me $400 to come home by cab, because I was done over at the hospital," said Isaac.

"They said that I was better, there was no need for me to stay there, and there was no ambulance or anything to take me back to P.E.I."

Isaac said the province should also consider that patients heal faster and recover quicker when surrounded by family.

Health PEI is currently studying whether it should restore the vascular surgery program on the Island. It says it does consider both the social and out of pocket costs of sending Islanders away for health care.

For mobile device users:Should Health PEI cover more travel expenses for Islanders who have to travel out of province for treatment?

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