Unfair treatment

Dear editor:
I am writing this letter in response to a discussion I had with my daughter’s friends who live in southern Ontario. It is a short note telling her how northern residents are being discriminated against when it comes to health care.
As a cancer patient, I have had to travel to Thunder Bay for treatment many times. When travelling, I was eligible to receive 30.4 cents per kilometre–one way.
If I lived in Toronto and had to travel to Sudbury for treatment, as many cancer patients have had to do, I would have been eligible to have all of my costs paid for. This would include my flight, taxis, hotel, meals, and in some cases costs for a companion.
Frankly, I think this is unfair and when I asked Ontario’s Ombudsman Clare Lewis to investigate, he agreed with me. In his recently-released report, Mr. Lewis calls this practice “improperly discriminatory” and urges the government to “provide equal funding.”
Premier harris has known about this problem for years and has been asked by Ontarians Seeking Equal Cancer Care (O-SECC) many times to end this “health care apartheid” to no avail.
How many northern cancer patients have to lose their life savings or mortgage their houses in order to afford to travel for life-saving treatment before the premier steps in and ends this discrimination?
Why is the government willing to pay a $1.30 per kilometre round-trip to transport a body but refuses to help living cancer patients in the north?
Will it take a claws-action lawsuit by O-SECC to finally achieve equality for northerners? Hopefully, Mr. Harris will listen to the Ombudsmen and bring an end to this discrimination soon.
I ask each of you with friends and family in Northern Ontario to bring this to the attention of your local M.P.P. All Ontarians deserve equal access to cancer care.
Surely the time to act is now!
Ann Watson