Mary Zorko and her husband Ron Dulhanty were shocked when staff at their family doctor’s office informed them that they, and Mary’s mother, were no longer patients at the practice. 

The doctor had discharged them from his care.

Zorko said “there was nothing, no valid reason.”

Dulhanty adds “I feel abandoned.”

The doctor’s office told them on a Monday, even though Ron Dulhanty had an appointment later in the week.

Dulhanty is 80 years old and has come complex medical issues, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder.

Mary Zorko is 62 and her mother is 92.  Both are in good health, but they also need a family doctor.

Zorko said “given the fact we were never given a valid explanation, the only conclusion I could come to is we are just too old.”

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta does allow doctors to terminate a relationship with a patient, but there are guidelines. 

The guidelines include giving a patient some understanding as to why they have been discharged from care.

The doctor who discharged Zorko and Dulhanty is unable to talk about the situation because he is restricted by patient confidentiality.

The couple can make a complaint to the college if they feel it is warranted. 

Dulhanty has already found another family doctor.  Zorko and her mother are hopeful that same doctor will also take them on as patients.