Penile prosthetics not covered in Sask

This content was generated via a Google Alert and the content is owned by the original site

Click here to visit the original site

Dr. Trustin Domes will soon implant a three-piece, inflatable penile prosthesis in a 70-year-old man to hopefully cure his erectile dysfunction.

Up to 20 of his patients could benefit from it, but only this man has chosen to pay. The expensive procedure isn’t covered under the public health system in Saskatchewan.

Domes is the male sexual health specialist for Saskatoon Urology Associates, a group working to change that.

His patient’s cancerous prostate was removed five years ago, and he hasn’t had a sex life since. He lives in a small town in northern Saskatchewan and did not want his name published to protect his privacy and that of his family.

“I’m hoping I’m going to live another 10 years, and this is going to affect my life in a very positive way,” the man said.

However, having to pay out of pocket in Saskatchewan isn’t fair when it’s covered in other places, he said.

The procedure costs around $12,000 and is covered in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario, Domes said.

It should be covered here, too, because without it, he can’t offer full, comprehensive care, he said.

The prosthesis is a last resort after other treatments, such as drugs, injections, vacuum devices and sex therapy, have failed.

“Sexual function is an important part of health and when patients lose the ability to be sexually active, there are certain treatments we can offer, but not every patient will respond to every treatment,” Domes said.

Saskatchewan ceased covering the device in 1993. Newer devices are more reliable, with less risk of infection and better patient satisfaction, he said.

He and other urologists in Saskatoon are asking their patients to write testimonials and are working with the Saskatoon Prostate Cancer Support Group. They’re also drafting a document to send to the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s fee item committee. “It’s sort of easy for them to cut things, but very challenging to get things back on,” Domes said.

According to an email from the Ministry of Health, “the decision to insure any procedure is not taken lightly. As with all coverage decisions, Government has the difficult job of balancing the needs of competing patient care needs among many priorities in the health system.”

Coverage of the device would increase both the scope and cost of the Saskatchewan Aids to Independent Living program, a ministry spokesperson noted.

“As a result, a coverage request would need to be reviewed from a policy perspective and then as part of the budgetary process.”

Comments are closed.