Canadian Doctors Told They Can’t Deny Opioids to Pain Patients

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Doctors in the Canadian province of British Columbia  will no longer be able to deny or refuse to see patients who are seeking opioid prescriptions, the Canadian Press reports.

The ruling by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. updates a 2016 standard which made only recommendations to doctors about dosage and tapering off prescriptions.

The standard was set after British Columbia declared a public health emergency in April of 2016, after opioid related drug overdoses shot up, mainly from fentanyl being cut into street drugs.

The province on Canada’s West Coast recorded the highest number of overdose fatalities in Canada last year, with 1,448 deaths.

College registrar Heidi Otter said the standard was revised after doctors and patient advocacy groups complained that people were either being denied care or abandoned.

Andrew Koster, 65, who uses opioids to treat his lower back arthritis, said after the 2016 provision, he had doctors walk out on him, and was kicked out of an emergency room with his back in serious pain.

“The question in the minds of the general public is that opioids are bad, we’ve got to stop the opioid crisis,” said Koster.

“Now, the pendulum has swung the other way, I believe, so there’s a separation between what’s going on the street, as tragic as it is, and what’s going on with patients. There is sort of a fire wall developing,” said Koster.

This summary was prepared by Dane Stallone, a TCR news intern.

6 thoughts on “Canadian Doctors Told They Can’t Deny Opioids to Pain Patients

  1. I stand with you Richard Lawnhorn, and thank you.
    Debilitating chronic pain issues are being IGNORED… I/we suffering from invented incorrect statistics depend on prescribed analgaics for pain moderation and quality of life.

  2. Why are they counting heroin addicts deaths in this so “so called epidemic”. There might bean epidemic among heroin users but they chose to use drugs and take the risk.

    I read an article that said they are counting EVERY drug death as part off this “epiemic”. I wish I had bookmarked it. I will continue to search for it. They are counting allergic reactions to antibiotics, everything in this.

    I don’t know why I would not have book marked it.

  3. Apparently the Canadian government not only cares more about their people than ours (U.S.), they’re smarter too! How many years (& deaths) will it take for our government to figure out how badly they’ve screwed the chronic pain patients- and eventually ANY patient with pain?! Praying they come to their senses soon.

    • Chronic pain patients are under doctors’ care, checked out regularly and given enough opioids (when no other drugs or therapies work) to diminish the amount of pain they suffer, but not totally eliminate pain. A patient in pain is not going to get high! If doctors don’t know the difference between a junkie and a legitimaye chronic pain patient, they should look for a new career! Pain specialists have additional training and experience that GPs do not, so they zre equipped to evaluate payients, sort out the junkies and treat the chronic pain patient. [this comment has been condensed for space]

  4. This is a reply and comment to Roseann from July 2. Yes the primary Dr’s aren’t prescribing pain meds, they ship you off to pain management, which is a joke because even they’re not prescribing opioid pain meds either. Believe me I painfully know this.
    Nothing will change until the CDC, DEA and state gov’t will pull their heads out of their asses! And let all Dr’s be Dr’s and treat their patients properly. There’s always been a drug problem in every state, it’s called illegal drug problem not prescription drug problem. I’m sorry BUT I don’t believe for 1 min that someone gets hooked on pain meds after only taking 5 days worth. I call B.S. on all of it.

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