The issue of truck drivers being refused visitation by some medical practitioners due to COVID-19 concerns has seemingly begun to resurface. Based on media and few isolated anecdotal reports, it appears that some physicians are once again refusing to see patients who frequently cross the border, such as truck drivers, unless they first quarantine for 14 days. In some instances, family members reportedly also told to submit a negative COVID test before a physician will see them.
The issue first came to the attention of the Ontario Trucking Association last summer as some physicians leaned on what they said were their sectors’ policies as justification to decline truck drivers. At that time, OTA worked with the College of Physicians of Ontario (CPSO), the College of Chiropractors of Ontario (CCO) and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO), who, after considering OTA’s concerns with this trend, all issued letters reviewing industry guidelines on servicing truck driver patients who are essential workers and to various degrees provided flexibility to practitioners to accept truck drivers who are not showing symptoms of the virus and satisfy the recommended precautions.
While the letters did state that individual practitioners should exercise their own clinical judgment reading on how they screen patients, reports of truck drivers being refused did ease substantially by the fall.
Perhaps, because of increased scrutiny of cross-border truck drivers by media and public officials, the issue seems to be remerging, at least anecdotally.
If OTA members would like to report new instances where truck drivers are being refused medical treatment, they can contact [email protected] with details. OTA will do its best to look into the issue.