NANAIMO — A Nanaimo family says they were “horrified” to discover that four hours of medical treatment, a battery of tests, and an overnight stay at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital resulted in a massive bill of $4.75.

“I really don’t know how they expect us to pay this,” said Don Smith. “This is atrocious.”

On Sunday, Mr. Smith he took his 12-year-old son, who was suffering from an acute asthma attack, into the emergency ward. The services provided by NRGH included:

  • Exhaled nitric oxide test
  • Triage nurse services
  • Computerized tomography lung scan
  • Full panel of chest and sinus x-rays
  • Administration of emergency inhaler
  • Consultation with allergist (1 hour)
  • Full allergy testing on skin with common allergens
  • Bronchial challenge test
  • Spirometry testing done by ENT specialist (25 minutes)
  • Administration of methacholine (methacholine challenge)
  • Asthma challenge test (20 minutes)
  • Specialized paediatric lung testing (45 minutes)
  • A full panel of bloodwork
  • Peak flow testing
  • Family services visit
  • Manual check for nasal polyps or sinusitis
  • Sputum induction and examination
  • Gastroesophageal reflux assessment by specialist
  • Overnight stay in semi-private room
  • Four meals delivered to bedside
  • Overnight vitals checked hourly
  • Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) testing
  • Referral to ENT specialist

Total cost to the family was $4.75 for parking.

Receipt of NRGH parking provided by the Smith family shows they were charged $4.75 for parking on Sunday.

Campaigning in Ontario this morning, Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer says he plans to fix the problem by requiring that families pay privately for the kind of care the Smith family received. Under that plan, the Smith’s hospital invoice would have been an estimated $158,655. Parking not included.