WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has paid a large chunk of a $118,00 US medical bill for a man's emergency treatment in the United States.
Robin Milne, who is 60, cried tears of joy after coming out of a meeting with Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen on Thursday.
He said this is a tremendous weight off of him.
Milne is still on the hook for about $40,000 US for his medical transport, though provincial officials said further discussions are ongoing over that invoice.
Milne – who lives a few kilometres from the Canada-U.S. border – had a heart attack in October 2016 and went to the closest hospital emergency room, which is in Minnesota.
Manitoba has an emergency care deal with two hospitals in Minnesota, but the U.S. doctor sent Milne to another hospital in North Dakota, which the province doesn't have a deal with, to get a heart stent.
Milne said the decision to transfer him to the North Dakota hospital came after he waited 90 minutes to be transferred to a Winnipeg hospital for the procedure.
On Feb. 1, the Manitoba government said it didn't have the authority to make such payments.
Goertzen said he drove to the U.S. and secured an agreement clearing Milne’s bill.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: 2nd CORRECTION to clarify Manitoba has deal with only two hospitals in Minnesota, not entire state