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Another case of a London man stranded out of country arises at Queen’s Park

Andrea Horwath said her two-week tour will focus on listening to Ontarians ahead of a June election.

The Ontario NDP kept local health care front and centre at Queen’s Park on Thrusday, bringing to light the case of yet another London man who spent time in an American hospital because there wasn’t a bed for him in his home province.

Joe Glowacki had a heart attack in Arizona in December, but despite being stable and cleared to travel the next day, he couldn’t get an available spot at the London Health Sciences Centre.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said that’s unacceptable.

READ MORE: London MPP raising concerns about overcrowding in Ontario hospitals

“He was rushed to the hospital and stabilized and ready to transport the next day, but Joe’s insurance company said there were no available beds available at home,” Horwath said during Thursday’s question period.

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“The insurance company even lined up a cardiologist at London Health Science Centre to take care of him, but Joe spent three more days in that Arizona hospital before they sent him home on a commercial flight, with orders for him to see his doctor immediately.”

Health Minister Dr. Helena Jaczek said she’ll be holding meetings with ministry and insurance officials to try to figure out where the disconnect is.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring the communication between the insurance companies and our health professionals is improved and looked at very, very carefully.”

READ MORE: Family demands apology after London man dies following injury in Mexico

Horwath says that hospital overcrowding is the cause of these issues, not miscommunication between local officials and insurance companies.

“The breakdown is not in communications. The breakdown is in our hospital system, and it’s a breakdown that this liberal government caused because of cuts and underfunding,”  Howath said.

READ MORE: Patient advocacy group calls for change as hospital overcrowding leaves Ontarians stranded abroad

It’s not the first time Queen’s Park has heard stories of Londoners stranded in another country awaiting for hospital beds in their home province.

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Most recently, after suffering serious bleeding after falling while on vacation, Stuart Cline was stranded in Mexico for over a week before he was finally transported to a St. Catharines hospital, where he passed away a few days later.

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