Quebec health minister condemns mistreatment of Polish immigrant at CHUM

Clinic offers to treat elderly man after CHUM language spat
WATCH: A Montreal clinic has offered to treat Zbignew Malysa after he said he would not be returning to see a urologist who allegedly made fun of him because he’s an immigrant. Global's Amanda Jelowicki reports.

Zbigniew Malysa’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing since he went public with his story. The Polish immigrant’s mistreatment at the hands of a CHUM doctor has seen an outpouring of support from friends, family, and even strangers.

“I am happy, because it is not supposed to happen in a place like a hospital,” the 67-year-old said.

While he remains frightened for his own health, some good news is coming his way.

Malysa says a private Montreal clinic has offered him medical care.

“I am so happy, because I cannot use the CHUM on St. Denis,” he said.

Malysa’s ordeal happened earlier this week at the CHUM. He says urologist Dr. Luc Valiquette made fun of him, and was derogatory during an appointment.

READ MORE: Elderly man says doctor at CHUM mistreated him because he doesn’t speak French

He claims the doctor ripped up requisition forms, saying the tests were too expensive. Malysa says Valiquette said Eastern Europeans took advantage of Quebec’s healthcare system.

Story continues below advertisement

The doctor also questioned why Malysa didn’t speak French, saying he was surprised he didn’t speak the language despite living in Quebec for 30 years.

The story caught the attention of Quebec’s health minister, who condemned what happened.

“Personally as a physician, it was disgusting to hear that,” Barrette said during a press conference Friday morning.

He cautioned that Quebec’s College of Physicians and the CHUM are conducting investigations, and the full story will come out with their investigations. But he said he doesn’t believe he has any reason to doubt Malysa’s story.

He says the CHUM has policies in place for treating English patients, and Malysa deserved better.

“Considering the measures in place at the CHUM, it makes this event even more unacceptable,” Barrette said. “In my view it’s not an institutional problem, it’s an individual problem that will have to be addressed.”

Global News spoke exclusively with Dr. Valiquette this week. He dismissed the incident as a misunderstanding.

“It’s too bad if it’s his perception, but I did not want to make a joke of his name, and I never said anything bad about Eastern Europeans.”

Malysa says there was no misunderstanding.

Story continues below advertisement

“Everything was absolutely clear,” he said.

He said the doctor called him on Thursday, but he has no interest in talking to him. The hospital has also tried reaching out, but the family wants no more communication with the doctor.

Malysa says several layers of good have come out of this stressful situation He’s grateful to his daughter for first bringing attention to it on her Facebook page.

“Because of the story, I figure out much more about relationship with my daughter. Yea she’s doing this for me. She loves me very much.”

He loves that she’s helping him. And he hopes by speaking out, he might also be helping others who’ve suffered the same way.