A pregnant woman in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce says her OB-GYN, and associated clinic, dropped her because of a post she made on Facebook complaining about having difficulty accessing the doctor.
Courtney Orbin moved to Montreal from Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their three-year-old last August. She had heard a lot about Canada's public health care system.
"I was really excited to see how it works. I am someone who truly believes in patient care," Orbin, who is now 19 weeks pregnant, told CBC News.
In late May, a medical test confirmed Orbin had an infection, and she was told to reach out to her gynecological centre in LaSalle to get a prescription.
She says she called reception, and was told to leave a message. She waited two weeks and became frustrated, deciding to post on a closed parents' Facebook group to find some answers.
Some of her post read, "Is it normal for an OB-GYN to not be reachable? Signed up with [a doctor]... but can't even get a call back, and the only person is a snotty receptionist who won't even pass on a message. Is this what public healthcare is about?"
Orbin says the sentiment was echoed by some of the group's other members.
Then, last week, Orbin went in for her scheduled appointment and was told by her doctor that she would no longer see Orbin because of the Facebook post, and that the trust between them had been broken.
Orbin says she was also told no other doctor at the clinic would see her.
"[The doctor] said to me that I defamed [the doctor] on Facebook, and I was shocked," Orbin said.
Then, Orbin says Montreal police were called to the clinic to escort her and her husband out. She says she was emotional, but at no time did she yell or threaten anyone.
"This is not something that any pregnant mother should go through," she said.
CBC News has not heard back from the doctor or the clinic after requesting comment.
'Is there still a trust?'
The Quebec College of Physicians says it's difficult to maintain privacy in the age of rating doctors online.
"The real issue here is, is there still a trust between a physician and the patient?" said Dr. Yves Robert, CEO and secretary of the college.
Doctors are legally allowed to end care with a patient, but they must facilitate referrals to a new doctor, Robert said. According to legal experts, physicians may have grounds to sue for defamation, if intent can be proven.
Robert says the Orbins can file a complaint if they are dissatisfied with the process of referral, and Orbin says she plans to do just that.