Andrew Murley’s struggle with MCP and the Provincial Government to have MCP cover a surgery that he feels is required after losing over 200 pounds has made national headlines. The Star reports: But now, after bringing his weight down to 180 pounds, Murley has found that the health-care system isn’t willing to return his favour. Left with six pounds of excess skin hanging from his chest — which can be removed only through surgery and not exercise — Murley is learning the limits of the public system. That’s because the provincial government is refusing to pay for the procedure, saying the operation is not ‘medically necessary.'” The Star says that Newfoundland’s policy is consistent with that of other provinces, including Ontario, Manitoba and B.C. Saskatchewan, but notes that on the other hand that they all pay for breast reduction surgery if there are symptoms such as painful shoulder grooves, breast pain, backache or significant posture change. “We’re not supposed to practice blame-based medicine. We do reconstructive surgery on drug addicts who burn themselves while making drugs, we do the same for drunk drivers when they slam their cars into walls, but it’s only obesity that has this hateful bias,” says Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a weight-loss expert and director of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute. Yesterday Susan Sullivan, Newfoundland’s health minister, indicated that “Suffice to say if a surgeon decides that a particular procedure is medically necessary, then it will happen.” Murley is cautiously optimistic – as he was told quite the opposite not too long ago.

Source: The Star