The role of the healthcare provider.

We often hear about the role employers, schools and teachers, landlord’s, and so forth have in ensuring that a disabled patient can get their treatment. Things such as time off work/school, and accessible apartment, and so forth.

Which is fine, but what if your healthcare provider is exploiting that?

From the Ontario Human Rights Commission:

Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the first in Canada, was enacted in 1962. 

The Code prohibits actions that discriminate against people based on a protected ground  in a protected social area.

Protected grounds are:

  • Age
  • Ancestry, colour, race
  • Citizenship
  • Ethnic origin
  • Place of origin
  • Creed
  • Disability
  • Family status
  • Marital status (including single status)
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Receipt of public assistance (in housing only)
  • Record of offences (in employment only)
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation.

Protected social areas are:

  • Accommodation (housing)
  • Contracts
  • Employment
  • Services
  • Vocational associations (unions).

So the code says that someone with a disability, for example, can’t have their rights infringed. But it DOES NOT SAY that only employers, for example, infringe.

What if it is your healthcare provider infringing?

I don’t think doctors, nurses, managers, and administrators think of it as infringing on your rights. They book your appointment for 3 pm Thursday, but I might only be part time, that might be my only work shift that week. What about MY RIGHT to earn an income?

Now I’ll freely admit that most health providers can easily re-schedule most tests and procedures. But what if they insist, and you have to fill out one of those against medical advice forms to do so? In my view, that’s infringing on my rights as a disabled person.

I think we need to have a conversation on how our healthcare providers work with our professors/school, employers, landlords, etc. Everyone probably tells you that “your health comes first.” That’s total BS. Without money to pay the rent, and purchase groceries, the treatment means nothing.

It’s time to reconsider our priorities.