NEWS

Colleen Hopkins, disabled woman, disputes $700 ambulance charge

11/07/2014 11:52 EST | Updated 01/07/2015 05:59 EST
Colleen Hopkins, a 48-year-old disabled Nova Scotia woman, says she has been wrongly charged hundreds of dollars for an ambulance earlier this year after she drove into a ditch, got stuck in her truck and then crawled for eight hours to get help.

The North Kentville woman was driving home from her doctor's office in Wolfville in April when she suddenly got a bad headache and became disoriented. She drove off the road into a farmer's field.

Eventually she drove her four-wheel-drive truck into a water-filled trench. After 30 hours inside the truck without food or water, she crawled to a farmhouse and called 911.

The 800-metre crawl took her about eight hours.

"I had crawled up and I didn't know where I was, so I had to call 911 to find out," Hopkins said Friday.

"I'd been gone for three days, I knew my husband would be really, really worried."

An ambulance took her to a hospital.

Hopkins subsequently got a $711.60 ambulance charge from Emergency Health Services. She was told her trip fell under the motor vehicle accident category, but she was not in a collision.

"I received an ambulance bill, which I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting it to be almost what I make in a month, almost my entire month's pension," she said.

"I kind of lost my faith in the health system."

Hopkins thinks she should be charged the non-collision rate of $142.30.

"When I got the bill, I called them and told them that it wasn't a motor vehicle accident. And they said, 'Well, that's the way they do it,'" she said.

"I can't understand why it's so much. There was no collision. I told them that and they wouldn't believe me."

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