As I wrote on this blog a few months ago (found here and here), bureaucrats within the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) still have not approved out-of-country funding for 3-year-old Liam Reid to get the specialized eye treatments he needs to slow down or halt his blindness.
As those who have been following this travesty know, Liam is suffering from Norrie’s disease — officially called Persistent Fetal Vasculature Syndrome. The symptoms of the genetic condition is blindness at birth or soon after, as well as possible hearing loss and developmental delays.
In Liam’s case, his parents are trying desperately to slow down or stop total blindness, as well as the possible physical deformities that can result from the disease.
What is particularly disgraceful is that one other Ontario child with the same disorder is receiving out-of-country funding. Yet, the Ontario government is causing unnecessary stress and financial pain to the Reid’s (including having to hire a lawyer). Why? Why fund the one and not the other? Why such favouritism?
Well, whatever the reasons for the OHIP unfairness, as Christina Blizzard writes today, Liam’s parents, Dave and Kristina have been able to pay for another desperately needed treatment because strangers came through with donations. While Blizzard thanks Sun readers for donating, I would also like to thank those who donated via Crux of the Matter.
However, in spite of the unhelpful way OHIP officials are behaving, Blizzard reports excellent news following the most recent treatment. According to Dr. Trese, the Michigan eye surgeon who is working with Liam, he has seen eyes like Liam’s left eye be able to read large print. And, without a doubt, some sight is better than no sight.
So, let’s continue to keep the pressure on OHIP, as well as Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health Minister Deb Matthews. The crux of the matter is that if out-of-province OHIP funding was found for another child with the same condition as Liam, it should be provided for him as well. As I have said before, if the Ontario government has money to waste on e-Health and Ornge Ambulance boondoggles, they have more than enough to pay $5,000 once a year or so for sight saving treatment.