B.C. man stunned to discover physiotherapist called him 'redneck,' 'lowlife' in medical file
A B.C. health authority is investigating after a complaint from a Merritt man who said he was stunned to find hurtful and derogatory comments made about him in a medical file.
Robert Munro, 37, has been delivering furniture for the past 14 years.
But, he said, in December, he injured his back at work.
“All I felt was something in my back stretch and go pop,” he said.
He hasn’t been able to work since.
He filed a claim with WorkSafeBC, and said last week, he met with a physiotherapist at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.
“He was really nice, to my face anyway,” Munro said.
But when he checked his WorkSafeBC file online after the appointment, he said he was shocked to find what the physiotherapist had written.
The physiotherapist described Munro as “redneck hick to death, uneducated, seems to fear his own shadow.”
The physiotherapist also wrote: “I think he’s playing the system more than he should.”
It was also noted that Munro “lives in Merritt and he has no license."
"Would not be surprised," the file continued. "His uneducated, lowlife style led him to a DUI.”
“When I read that, I didn’t know what to think. I was already down in the dumps due to me not working. It wasn’t right,” Munro said. “I got a hold of my caseworker (at WorkSafeBC) and she said, 'You’re not going back to him.'"
CTV News tried to reach the physiotherapist but did not hear back.
Munro filed a complaint with Interior Health, which says an investigation is underway.
“We have only learned of these concerns earlier this week," said Jayme Newton, Interior Health's director of clinical operations for the Thompson Cariboo region, in an email to CTV News.
"We can say that the language from this transcript is not what we would expect from an Interior Health employee regarding a patient or client and we will be following up on these concerns … While I cannot speak to individual personnel issues, Interior Health does have a code of conduct that outlines expectations for all employees, including our duty to be respectful and compassionate to the individuals we serve.”
WorkSafeBC wouldn’t speak to the specific claim due to privacy issues, but said in an email that the organization “requires its contractors to follow (its) Code of Business Ethics and Behaviour."
"This includes conducting oneself in a respectful and considerate manner,” the email continued. "In cases where our code of conduct has been breached, WorkSafeBC will conduct a thorough internal investigation.”
Munro said a WorkSafeBC investigation is already underway and that the hurtful comments have been removed from the file. However, he took screenshots of them and provided a copy to CTV News.
Munro thinks the physiotherapist should lose his job. At the very least, he wants an apology.
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