'I've been sentenced to die': Cancer-stricken Ontario mayor mad as heck at Wynne, Hoskins

Fearing he will soon die without pancreatic cancer surgery, the long-time mayor of Trent Hills says he has been “essentially murdered by a corrupt, rigged political system” and wants the OPP “to investigate the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.”



That is really what Mayor Hector Macmillan said on Twitter Wednesday. It not only got the public’s attention, but it also shook up the minister of health’s office, too.

Clearly the mayor for 13 years of the amalgamated cities of Campbellford, Seymour, Percy and Hastings is desperate.

And trying to make a point.

“I’ve been ‘sentenced to die’ by @DrEricHoskins using a corrupt, RIGGED political system engineered to NOT pay for out-of-country health care,” @MayorHec said in one tweet.

“Rigged out-of-country funding program will pay to remove my penis but not my cancer tumour!!” he said in another.

Hec, a great Canadian and one of the key politicians behind the Highway of Heroes initiative, is upset.

“They expect I’ll be dead by Christmas without the surgery,” the 58-year-old told me Wednesday. “It will likely jump to my liver soon and then there’s nothing anyone can do for me then. So the clock is really ticking.”

It seems Ontario’s medical system has already thrown in the towel. His life raft is “life-saving surgery” in Kentucky at a cost of $300,000.

Not easy for a mayor earning $30,000 a year.

“The surgery procedure is called IRE or NanoKnife,” he said.

Since he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he says he’s been told there is no coverage for him. If it was Stage 3, maybe.

However, down in Kentucky they told him “if you want that tumour out, we’ll have it out on Wednesday for you.”

But OHIP won’t pay.

“Can’t go without the dough. I am not going to last long,” he said. “Most people in Ontario, including me, do not realize when it comes to our health-care system we live under the standard of care which basically limits what, and how much, OHIP will spend on you. If you have pancreatic cancer, or step outside of the standard of care box, you’re dead!”

He says he can’t seem to get anybody to think outside that box — including Hoskins, who he asked last week, “Are you really just going to let me die?”

Expressing compassion for the mayor, Hoskins on video says, “The difficulty that we face is we live in a society where we both want to give opportunities to individuals like yourself, particularly life-saving opportunities, but at the same time we want to base our decisions on best practices and science and evidence.

“So I endeavour to, in that regard, let the experts make the decision on all our behalf. And it’s regrettably often a decision that patients can’t fathom, and I fully understand why that is,” he said.

Clearly Hoskins can’t fix everything and would not want to see anybody die. But the “there is nothing we can do because you don’t fit the guidelines” approach we have seen for countless patients is horrible.

Rather than saying “sorry, we can’t help you,” how about “let’s see what we can do.” Look for a solution rather than settle for death. Remember, this is the same ministry that wasted $1 billion on eHealth and the same government that lost a billion on the gas plants. So there is money spent on some things that did not fit inside the logical box.

What we need in Ontario is a special fund for these out-of-province, life-saving surgery or treatment situations that slip between the cracks here that people can tap into to go along with their own fundraising efforts. That’s something the minister can do.

There is a GoFundMe page set up called “Help save our mayor” was at $13,000 Wednesday night.

Only $277,000 to go.

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