'Our healthcare system is broken' 59 yr old Welland man worried he will die on waiting list

dean bake

A 59 year old Welland man is worried he is going to die waiting on a list.

Dean Baker, who says he has always bragged about Ontario's health care system, is now sitting on a waiting list to remove a life-threatening brain tumour.

He has been told by his doctors in Hamilton he could be waiting 6 months for surgery to remove the golf-ball sized mass since there are 53 patients ahead of him on the waiting list.

He is suffering from seizures, slurred speech, memory loss, and the constant fear of death.

Baker, a retired Bell employee, has two children in their 40's and three grandchildren.

He is hoping Ontario's Health Minister or Hamilton Health can help his cause since his condition is getting worse.

He's been told his best bet maybe to go to the United States for surgery, but he admits he can't afford it.

Baker has called OHIP to see if they can provide an estimate to see how much it would cover, but even the estimate process can take up to 3 weeks.

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch's office has sent an urgent letter to Christine Elliott, our health minister and the President of Hamilton Health.

Baker's MRI

Here is the letter:


August 9, 2019                                         


Ms. Christine Elliott, MPP                          URGENT OPEN LETTER

Minister of Health

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

5th Floor, 777 Bay Street

Toronto, ON M7A 2J3


Mr. Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO

Hamilton Health Sciences

1200 Main Street West

Hamilton, ON  L8N 3Z5


Dear Minister Elliott and Mr. MacIsaac:

Re:  59 Year old Welland man fighting for his life with golf-ball sized brain tumour

I am sending this urgent letter on behalf of Dean Baker appealing on compassionate grounds to do what you can to ensure life saving surgery to remove this brain tumour is undertaken as soon as possible.

His family physician says the tumour must be removed and if not he will die. He has been to see his Neurosurgeon at Hamilton General Hospital and given no specific date for surgery, leaving him and his life in limbo.

Mr. Baker has been told that the doctors are overwhelmed with patients and limited hours in the operating room each month. He’s also been advised that his neurosurgeon has 53 patients ahead of him.

Dean’s wife Anna has just had hip surgery and his two adult children have come home to be with their dad. In an email to my office, he made it clear the impact this whole situation is having on him:

“My life is definitely getting worse with headaches shakes slurred speech memory loss and it is progressively feeling worse. I worry about it all the time. Over the weekend I had crushing headaches, slurred speech and it’s getting progressively worse.”

Minister, I am hoping you can work with the administration at Hamilton General and Mr. Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO to arrange to have this surgery done as soon as possible since Dean’s life is hanging in the balance.


Jeff Burch, MPP