Kamloops physiotherapist investigated for derogatory comments | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops physiotherapist investigated for derogatory comments

Royal Inland Hospital.

A Kamloops physiotherapist added insult to injury when he called his patient a "redneck hick to death" and accused him of "playing the system."

Robert Munro injured his back at his job as a furniture delivery man in Merritt, putting him out of work for months.

He saw Royal Inland Hospital physiotherapist Martin Giguere on March 10, which Munro said went well, but Giguere apparently disagreed.

"I only met the guy for an hour," Munro said. "What gives a guy the right to say that?"

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Giguere was summarizing Munro's appointment for a worker's compensation claim, which was later posted in full to Munro's WorkSafeBC claim online.

It included details about Munro's exam, where Giguere had difficulty finding the source of his back pain. It included several derogatory comments and doubts about whether Munro was actually injured.

"First of all, uneducated massive giant pussy. Very, very pain focused," it reads.

Munro told his WorkSafe case worker about Giguere's comments as soon as he could and was advised he won't be seeing that physiotherapist again. His claim still contains most of Giguere's summary about the exam, but the most offensive comments have since been removed.

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Munro told iNFOnews.ca he still struggles to get up when laying or sitting, often needing help to get up. It's been more than three months since his injury, but he's scheduled for physiotherapy appointments with someone else now. His lower back injury leaves him unable to stand up straight. 

He initially planned to return to work within two days of his December injury. Instead, he had a friend take him to the hospital when he couldn't lift a 20-pound bag more than a foot off the ground, Munro said.

iNFOnews.ca attempted to reach Giguere at his office, but he wasn't available for comment.

Interior Health confirmed it is investigating Munro's complaint.

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"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," Thompson Cariboo director of clinical operations Jayme Newton said in a written statement.

Newton's statement continues to say he could not speak to individual personnel issues, but he did say Interior Health expects all employees to be "respectful and compassionate to the individuals we serve."

According to Giguere's LinkedIn profile, he's worked at Royal Inland Hospital since 2003, where he is the WorkSafeB.C. return to work program coordinator.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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