Statement from Dr Thomas Fung

Dignity Denied

I would like to take the opportunity to bring awareness to the challenges of practising medicine in First Nations and remote communities, where patients don’t receive equal access to care as in the city.

To illustrate this with an example from Siksika, I have a patient who suffers from Interstitial Lung Disease, which causes him to be short of breath even with simple tasks such as going to the washroom or going to the kitchen to get something to eat. He has poor mobility requiring the use of a walker, and he cannot walk for more than 2 minutes without gasping for breath. His stamina will improve greatly with home oxygen, but regretfully, his lab values on testing falls just short of qualifying for funding through Non-insured health benefits for First Nations. Without funding, his family does not have the finances to afford oxygen. There is no cure for his…

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