Patient says he was denied treatment at CHUM hospital for not speaking French
A Montreal man has filed a complaint with the ombudsman of the city's new French-language superhospital, claiming he was denied treatment because he couldn't speak French.
Zbigniew Malysa, a Canadian citizen who emigrated from Poland more than 30 years ago, says a urologist refused to speak to him and belittled him in front of two medical residents.
"I didn't believe what happened. I was thinking maybe I'm dreaming," Malysa said, adding that he also plans to file a complaint to Quebec's College of Physicians.
He told CBC that the incident happened Wednesday, when he went to the CHUM hospital in downtown Montreal to see urologist Dr. Luc Valiquette.
Malysa was referred to the CHUM by his doctor because he had high blood pressure and elevated creatinine levels.
Malysa said he was first seen by two residents, who spoke to him in English and gave him a form ordering a colonoscopy.
Malysa claims Valiquette then came into the room, furious.
"He didn't speak any word to me," Malysa said. "He said, 'How long you are in Quebec?…The East Europeans take advantage of our health system here.' I was completely confused. I didn't take any advantage. I have serious problems with very high blood pressure and some blood in my urine the doctor said to me I have to check this."
Malysa said he never got his urine test or any other treatment, adding that the doctor also yelled at the residents for prescribing a colonoscopy, ripped up the form and threw it in the garbage.
"He mentioned, 'We don't have money for the East Europeans' in French. I'm not speaking fluently French but I understand much more than I can speak. It was not rocket science."
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