Quebec senior alleges poor treatment at dental clinic

Click to play video: 'Quebec senior alleges poor treatment at dental clinic'
Quebec senior alleges poor treatment at dental clinic
WATCH: A Verdun senior claims that because of a botched procedure at a hospital dental clinic she might be forced to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to fix the problem. According to health advocates the woman's allegations illustrate the challenges low-income seniors can face when they're alone and without private health and dental insurance – May 31, 2023

Deborah Hannaford doesn’t want others to experience what she says she’s going through.

According to the Verdun senior, she went to a dental clinic at the Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal for a free dental procedure in February. Hannaford alleges that after more than an hour, the dentist told her that they didn’t have to tools to complete the job, so a second appointment was scheduled.

But at the second appointment things didn’t go well, forcing the dentist to apologize, she claims.

“‘I’m sorry, this didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to,'” she quoted the dentist as saying.  ” ‘I don’t know how long this tooth is going to last.'”

According to Hannaford, the hospital dentist told her that she would have to go to a private clinic to fix the tooth, something the retired hairdresser says she can’t afford.

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“I don’t have $2,500 to $3,00 for one tooth,” she told Global News, adding that she’s now in pain.

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Paul Brunet a patient advocate at the Conseil Pour La Protection Des Malades, says they do hear of elderly patients being left to solve problems on their own when treatments don’t go well.

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“How about giving a hand to the patient and helping her or him through the system and get adequate treatment?” he asked rhetorically. “This is a duty.”

He notes that patients in cases similar to what Hannaford alleges do have recourse.

“You can certainly file a complaint to the ombudsman of the hospital,” he stated.

Lawyer Patrick Martin-Ménard, who often represents patients legally, points out that patients who suffer as a result of medical or dental procedure can undertake legal proceedings, but it’s not always simple.

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“They have to prove three things,” he explained. “They have to prove, first of all, that a fault was committed, that a damage was suffered and that the damage was probably caused by the fault.”

A spokesperson for the health board that oversees the hospital says what Hannaford is alleging is sad, and they invite her to contact them or the hospital’s Bureau du commissaire local aux plaintes et à la qualité des services.

Hannaford says she is considering a lawsuit.

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