Relief for mothers delivering babies at Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital recently announced that they will charge West Quebec patients the actual cost of their hospital stay from December 1, $1100 per day. RAMQ only reimburses $450 per day unless the service is not available in West Quebec.

The Régie régionale has now decided to classify delivering babies as a service that is unavailable in the region, until the end of April 2004. This will allow 6 months to put a new plan in place for perinatal care in West Quebec. Between six and seven hundred West Quebec babies are delivered in Ontario hospitals every year.

A spokeswoman from the health ministry confirmed that the policy to reimburse only $450 has been in place since 1995. It is the Ottawa Hospital that has changed its policy — on economic grounds, in order to balance its budget.