I Just Found Out

**This featured case is one example of the concerns people have brought to us. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.

Fern had been receiving dialysis for two years and was on a program where she paid for part of her medication: she had so far paid almost $5,000. A new pharmacist let her know that her renal medication was covered by the Ministry of Health. She checked to confirm that this was true and that she could be reimbursed retroactively. After she submitted her receipts, however, she was advised that reimbursement was only allowed for up to a year. As a result, the cheque that arrived was for only half the amount she had paid out.

She did not think this was fair and was surprised that none of the medical professionals who had provided her services in the past two years had mentioned the program. She contacted our office.

Following our initial contact with the Ministry of Health, staff reviewed Fern’s file again and realized that she was truly not informed about the program until after she had been receiving treatments for two years. As a result, they decided to make an exception and sent Fern a cheque for the remainder of the amount she had paid out for renal medication.

When we looked at the processes in place for informing renal patients about the program, we realized that Fern’s situation was unusual. She lived close to another province and had most of her medical treatments there, so the service providers she dealt with were not fully aware of the programs available in Saskatchewan. The service providers in Saskatchewan, however, were well aware of the program and knew when to advise patients of its availability.

Status: Resolved