Windsor

NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky to present Dan's Law in Queen's Park Thursday

The Home Care and Community Services Amendment Act, or Dan's Law, is being debated Thursday at Queen's Park.

Bill named for Dan Duma, Windsor man who faced delays in publicly-funded care before he died

NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky will present private member's bill at Queen's Park Thursday to support terminally ill Ontarians who wish to die at home. (Lisa Gretzky)

Windsor West NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky is fighting to get a private member's bill passed that could help give people greater access to health care when they're dying.

The Home Care and Community Services Amendment Act was introduced in October. It will be debated at Queen's Park on Thursday.

The bill is known as Dan's Law, named for a Windsor man who died this past summer.

Dan Duma was an auto worker at GM's Windsor plant. When the plant closed, he moved to Alberta to find work in the oilsands. That's where he was diagnosed with liver cancer.

When his health took a turn for the worse, Gretzky said 'a whole series of very unfortunate events' brought him back to Ontario, where he wanted to spend his final days with his adult daughters. 

"When he came back they assumed he would receive home care while he lived out his final days with his family," Gretzky told CBC Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette.

"What they found out was that if Dan was put in the hospital in Windsor, he would actually receive all the care that he required through the inter-provincial agreement between Ontario and Alberta."

Under inter-provincial billing agreements, if someone comes to Ontario from out-of-province, they have to wait three months before being eligible for OHIP funded home and palliative care.  In that time, the other province is responsible for covering "medically necessary" visits.

Access to physician and hospital services are covered. But the gap lies when patients need home care and do not have access to palliative care. Duma died on July 18, one month into the three-month waiting period.

Gretzky hopes her bill will change that.

"We're talking specifically about people, right before they come to Ontario, already been residing in another Canadian province or territory and have provincial coverage through their current province. When they move back to Ontario for end of life care, homecare, palliative care, that three-month waiting period would be waived specifically for those services."

She said patients would still need to apply for OHIP and wait three months for all other healthcare needs not covered by the inter-provincial billing agreement.

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