Four-year-old boy denied medical treatment because of budget cuts

The family of four-year-old Kayden Kot has been told that a desperately needed treatment won’t be funded by the province, and Kot’s mom Sylvie Fortier-Kot was told the reason is budget cuts.

Over his young life, Kot has experienced serious health challenges, complicated by a medical error. He has needed more than a dozen trips out of province for treatment, only two of which have been covered by the provincial government. Now, the Sask. Party says Kayden can’t return to the Star Center in Denver for his next round of treatment, which would cost just over $14,000.

Fortier-Kot says she’s hit a wall dealing with the government.

“The bottom line is the current government does not provide enough funding to children that urgently need therapies. Which again is a political question. Children in this province are suffering,” Fortier-Kot wrote to the health minister. “Wait times are ridiculous. Kids with needs get wrapped up in red tape and delayed with therapies when they need it NOW. Children don’t have that ‘wait’ time. Parents have nowhere to turn. The wait lists are lengthy and unreasonable.”

NDP Leader Cam Broten used question period in the legislature Wednesday to call on the government to cover the treatment.

“This is a little boy’s life we’re talking about here,” said Broten. “We can argue that the Sask. Party will cost us more in the long-run if they don’t get Kayden the most effective treatment now – but really, this comes down to right and wrong. Refusing to send Kayden for the care he needs is just plain wrong.”

Broten also said the Sask. Party government’s excuses don’t add up.

The Saskatoon Health Region wrote a referral for the Star Center, saying “we cannot match the intensity of therapy that Kayden would receive at the Star Centre. For this reason, we are recommending that Kayden go back to the Star Centre.”

But the Sask. Party’s health minister denied funding this treatment because he claims the treatment available in Saskatchewan is sufficient.

The case echoes one the NDP raised just last week, when the Sask. Party denied life-saving treatment for three Saskatoon children with the health minister claiming the medication they need was not for patients older than five. In fact, the minister had his facts dead wrong – the medication is only for patients over five.

“Mr. Wall spends an average of $20,000 per trip for his two travel scouts to test out luxury hotels and scope out VIP lounges for him,” said Broten. “Even if Mr. Wall sent just one travel scout instead of two, the government could easily find the money to cover Kayden's treatment. Surely, giving Kayden a chance at a healthy life is worth it.”