Severely overweight N.S. man struggling to get health care
Published Tuesday, April 14, 2015 6:59PM ADT
A Nova Scotia man says he has been rejected by up to 20 doctors and is struggling to get the health care he needs because he is severely overweight.
“I get the appointment but when I get there, really a couple of the reactions have been really bad, like they’re disgusted with me,” says Tony MacIntyre.
MacIntyre is 622 pounds and has a host of health issues. He’s been prescribed hydromorphone to help with the pain, but he no longer wants to be on the drug.
He says Addiction Services has told him they would like to help, but they don’t have facilities to accommodate him due to his size.
“I need grab bars, I need a back bench. I’m told that’s not available,” says MacIntyre. “The bathrooms are not available. My girth is, you know, it’s huge.”
Rachel Boehm of Addiction Services says the program will find ways to help any patient in need, but she admits facilities may be lacking.
“Our in-patient unit, for example, is in an older building and it was built many years ago when accessibility issues weren’t as prominent,” she says.
Doctors Nova Scotia says MacIntyre’s situation is deplorable, but that he hasn’t been rejected due to his weight alone.
“Trying to integrate a really resource-intense patient into your practice, you have to assess whether you can actually provide the individual the care that he or she is going to need,” says Kevin Chapman of Doctors Nova Scotia.
He says narcotics also pose a problem.
“Many physicians are reluctant or cautious, if you will,” says Chapman.
MacIntrye finally found a doctor willing to accept him as a patient on Tuesday, but he acknowledges that won’t solve all his problems.
He says the process of finding treatment has been a frustrating one, and he doesn’t expect it to end anytime soon.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell