OHIP still not funding out of-country eye treatment for Liam Reid

Liam Reid & parents Dave & Kristina

As  I wrote on this blog a few months ago (found here and here), bureaucrats within the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) still have not approved out-of-country funding for 3-year-old Liam Reid to get the specialized eye treatments he needs to slow down or halt his blindness.

As those who have been following this travesty know, Liam is suffering from Norrie’s disease — officially called Persistent Fetal Vasculature Syndrome. The symptoms of the genetic condition is blindness at birth or soon after, as well as possible hearing loss and developmental delays.

In Liam’s case, his parents are trying desperately to slow down or stop total blindness, as well as the possible physical deformities that can result from the disease.

What is particularly disgraceful is that one other Ontario child with the same disorder is receiving out-of-country funding.  Yet, the Ontario government is causing unnecessary stress and financial pain to the Reid’s (including having to hire a lawyer). Why? Why fund the one and not the other? Why such favouritism?

Well, whatever the reasons for the OHIP unfairness, as Christina Blizzard writes today, Liam’s parents, Dave and Kristina have been able to pay for another desperately needed treatment because strangers came through with donations. While Blizzard thanks Sun readers for donating, I would also like to thank those who donated via Crux of the Matter.

However, in spite of the unhelpful way OHIP officials are behaving, Blizzard reports excellent news following the most recent treatment. According to Dr. Trese, the Michigan eye surgeon who is working with Liam, he has seen eyes like Liam’s left eye be able to read large print. And, without a doubt, some sight is better than no sight.  

So, let’s continue to keep the pressure on OHIP, as well as Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health Minister Deb Matthews. The crux of the matter is that if out-of-province OHIP funding was found for another child with the same condition as Liam, it should be provided for him as well.  As I have said before, if the Ontario government has money to waste on e-Health and Ornge Ambulance boondoggles, they have more than enough to pay $5,000 once a year or so for sight saving treatment.

In the meantime, people can donate or to get involved in the discussion at either Liam’s blog page, Facebook page, or Twitter page.

5 thoughts on “OHIP still not funding out of-country eye treatment for Liam Reid

  1. Sandy, we have to keep this kind of thing in the news in the KW area. Do you know if anyone has contacted the Record? Anyone sent any letters to the editor?

    I would even go so far as to say a call to the editor advising him of this story and asking him to put it front and center so that people in the region have an idea of who they’ll be voting for if they vote Liberal, wouldn’t be out of order.

    Just wondering if you know whether anyone has done anything like that yet?

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  2. Donna, I don’t know if anyone has told the Record. I would recommend you send the editor this URL and Christina Blizzard’s. Then, he or she will see how to reach the parents of little Liam. Also a letter to the editor would be good. It’s about fairness and accountability. If one family is covered, why not the Reid’s?

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