Manitoba woman left with ambulance bill after broken elevator forced her to call for help
Published Monday, February 12, 2018 6:18PM CST
Last Updated Monday, February 12, 2018 7:01PM CST
A one minute ambulance ride may end up costing a Manitoba woman hundreds of dollars.
Beverly Tenszen is used to getting around her building unassisted no problem. That changed when the elevator went out of service.
“Just the idea of being trapped. That’s a horrible feeling,” said the 78-year-old.
Tenszen has lived at Regency House in Portage la Prairie for nine years.
On Nov. 15, she started having pain.
“My knee was bothering me. It throbbed a lot,” she said.
Tenszen said she went to the doctor at the hospital next door, who prescribed her pain medication. Days later, the elevator in her building went out, forcing her to climb six flights of stairs to get to her room.
On Nov. 24, she was back at the hospital, able to get there with the help of her friends.
On this visit, the doctor drained fluid from her knee.
“So, I walk back up six flights of stairs. I get up, and I’m huffing and puffing because I’m feeling worse,” said Tenszen.
The next day, she was back there again, and once again had to walk up and down the stairs. On Nov. 26, she said she fell out of bed trying to get up because the pain in her knee was so severe.
That morning, she was able to crawl to the door to unlock it, before calling 911 for help because the elevator was still out of service.
“I had no way to get there, and I had a legitimate beef. My own doctor kept me in until December 7 because my leg was so bad.”
She said her doctor sent her home once the elevator was back up and running.
Two weeks later, she got an ambulance bill for $500. In January, she said the province knocked it down to $425, but she said that’s still not fair.
“It’s very frustrating.”
Southern Health-Santé Sud operates her building. In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson said, “The elevator at Regency House is original to the building and despite ongoing regular maintenance and repairs, as the elevator has aged additional repairs have been required. In this instance the main processor needed to be ordered and replaced resulting in the elevator being out of service. We regret any distress caused to residents of Regency House during this time.”
Tenszen said had the elevator been working Nov. 26, she never would have had to call 911 for help, meaning she never would have been left with the ambulance bill. She said she understands that there are fees for ambulance services, but doesn’t think it should cost so much money when the hospital is a one minute drive away.
“You know, $425, that’s pretty close to a month’s rent.”
Southern Health-Santé Sud said it is reviewing the ambulance fee and will be working with the patient to resolve the matter.