Jim K.

"Jim has spent everyday that he can for the past 4 years panhandling on the Plaza Bridge in Ottawa, right next to Parliament Hill, to pay for his prescription drugs."

This is Jim K. Spent time chatting with him the last time I was in Ottawa with my daughter, and gave him some money to help. Any mistakes are mine, and the next time I go to Ottawa, I will show him the page and verify the details.

Jim has spent everyday that he can for the past 4 years panhandling on the Plaza Bridge in Ottawa, right next to Parliament Hill, to pay for his prescription drugs.

I asked him what drugs he took and for what, he pulled out a very-creased well-worn two-sided list of medications. Now please hold that self-righteous indignation. Irrespective of whether you think he should be on that many medications, that is what has been prescribed to him by his one doctor who treats him and is a very different issue.

Take a BIG breath.

He uses testosterone patches to deal with androgen deficiency, esomeprazole for digestion issues, duloxetine for depression and anxiety, docusate sodium for bowel problems from having to sit on his walker for so long and due to his pain meds, rosuvastatin for high cholesterol, amitriptyline and pregabalin for fibromyalgia (and depression), naproxen (over-the-counter), Robaxacet (over-the-counter), tylenol (over-the-counter) and tramadol for pain, dom-metformin for type-2 diabetes, furosemide and perindopril for high blood pressure, omega 3 to support general health (over-the-counter) and last, but not least, dom-zopiclone for insomnia.

Frankly, with all that I don’t think I would sleep either.

And really, I don't think there is enough time in a year to panhandle for money to pay for all these drugs. 

Now, bear in mind, he probably is partially covered, but all public insurance include co-paymentsand deductibles because, in system administrators’ minds, we must have co-pays (mostly because we adopted then from private insurance) and no-one ever really questions the reasons for them. But they serve no useful purpose.

Jim is second generation Algonquin of Pikwakanagan First Nation, so he is not eligible for any support due to his noble heritage. He has been unable to hold down a regular job because of his health issues. He’s had many Members of Parliament stop by to speak with him during his 4 years next to parliament. All promised to look into things. Nothing has changed.

Jim has fallen though the cracks within the cracks.