Presidential treatment?

The case of Dan Lessard - the Powell River paper mill worker who says he was left on the streets of Vancouver, with no way home, after undergoing heart surgery at St. Paul's Hospital - has attracted attention both in the legislature and on editorial pages of British Columbia's newspaper. For example, yesterday, one letter writer in The Province informed readers her sister, when she was medivaced from Cranbrook to Kelowna, "knew from the experiences of other Cranbrook residents that it was quite possible she would be discharged from Kelowna and be required to make her own way home. No one ensures that a patient who has been critically ill - and who would still feel somewhat weak - has the appropriate means of returning home." And who wrote that letter you wonder? Well, that would be Sonja Sanguinetti, who just so happens to be...wait for it...the former president of the provincial Liberals. Fancy that! The following is a complete copy of that letter.

One of my family who was medivaced from Cranbrook to Kelowna, taking only her CareCard, a toothbrush and a hospital gown, was full of praise for the service she received

However, she knew from the experiences of other Cranbrook residents that it was quite possible she would be discharged from Kelowna and be required to make her own way home.

No one ensures that a patient who has been critically ill - and who would still feel somewhat weak - has the appropriate means of returning home.

My sister had no family or friends in Kelowna.

When I flew in to visit her, she was very concerned that she would be sent home with no money even to pay for bus fare, wearing only the hospital gown she came in.

Luckily, she was flown home, but Dan Lessard has our sympathy.

Sonja Sanguinetti,

West Vancouver

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