Travel expenses not a big issue

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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There has been much chatter about access to abortion on P.E.I., and how women have to travel off-Island for a provincially-covered abortion, and at great personal expense. To that I say join the club. My family suffers from a life-threatening bleeding disorder and we have no hematologist for specialized care here on P.E.I. and haven't for many years. In fact, we have to travel to Halifax twice a year for check-ups at the IWK Hematology Dept., and again for an adult appointment which we try to co-ordinate to be on the same day as the child's appointment. This is notwithstanding any emergency trips that invariably occur with our family situation.

These expenses, bridge, gas, hotel, meals, all come out-of pocket as many times a year as necessary, mainly due to not having access to such a specialist here on P.E.I. We have been advocating for one, but to no avail. We also have to see a specialist in Moncton twice a year. I'm sure many Islanders have similar issues or stories to tell.

I think back to my father in Newfoundland, when he suffered a respiratory issue. St. John's was the nearest hospital (8-10 hours away) and only place that was equipped to deal with his blockages and pending surgery.

My mother had to find alternate transportation to get there, find somewhere to stay for the four weeks he was there, eat, etc. All of this was not government funded.

So before we cry too loudly about having to travel 1.5 hours, and that we should take the government to court over equal access for all, maybe we should consider the fact that an hour and half isn't really all that far, and that you can try claiming your medical expenses incurred come income tax time.

JoAnn Craig,


Organizations: IWK Hematology Dept.

Geographic location: P.E.I., Iceland, Halifax Moncton Newfoundland St. John's Charlottetown

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