News release

Harding v. Province of Nova Scotia and Department of Health and Wellness

A human rights complaint sent to an independent board of inquiry has resulted in a settlement between the parties involved.

Melody Harding, Halifax, brought her complaint to the Human Rights Commission against the Province of Nova Scotia and the Department of Health and Wellness after she was refused breast reduction surgery due to having a body mass index above the threshold required for coverage by MSI.

Ms. Harding, the province and department were able to come to a mutually agreeable settlement that will see her case, and similar cases assessed on an individual basis eliminating the restrictive criteria placed upon patients with a body mass index higher than the previous threshold.

“I am so pleased to have found common ground with the Department of Health and Wellness,” said Ms. Harding. “Removing the body mass index restriction from the breast reduction surgery criteria is such a positive development for the women in Nova Scotia that are effected by macromastia, myself included.”

Settlements can be achieved between parties prior to or during the independent board of inquiry process provided all involved can agree the settlement resolves the matter. All settlement agreements must be endorsed by the board chair and approved by commissioners of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

The board chair in this matter was Gail Gatchalian.

The commission commends the parties in this matter for working collaboratively to reach a settlement that is beneficial to all women who find themselves in need of breast reduction surgery who have in the past been denied the service because their body mass index was too high in accordance with policy.

A copy of the settlement agreement can be found at http://humanrights.novascotia.ca .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A Halifax woman’s human rights complaint sent to an independent board of inquiry has resulted in a settlement between the parties involved.

Melody Harding brought her complaint to the Human Rights Commission against the Province of Nova Scotia and the Department of Health and Wellness after she was refused breast reduction surgery due to having a body mass index above the threshold required for coverage by M-S-I.

Ms. Harding, the province and the department came to a settlement that will see her case, and similar cases assessed on an individual basis eliminating the restrictive criteria placed upon patients with a body mass index higher than the previous threshold.

A copy of the settlement agreement can be found on the commission website.

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Media Contact:

Jeff Overmars
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