Healthcare workers in Ontario seem to have it tough right now. Despite serving on the frontlines of the current pandemic, it seems some health staff in Toronto are facing restrictive measures. One Toronto doctor says members of his family were denied entrance to a TD bank.
The experience wasn’t pleasant for Dr. Coleman Rotstein and his family, who are all healthcare workers in the city.
Dr. Rotstein, who is a University of Toronto professor and a University Health Network doctor, told Narcity he spoke with the TD Bank on Avenue Road in North York.
Dr. Rotstein said a security guard had stopped his daughter before she could enter the bank branch. She was asked if she was a healthcare worker.
“My daughter went to TD Canada Trust at Brookdale and Avenue Road on April 23 and she was asked if she was a healthcare worker. She was told that if she was, then she could not enter,” Dr. Rotstein told Narcity by email.
“I called that branch on April 24 to corroborate this fact and was told by a bank employee that this was true… I was told that this became bank policy on April 17,” he added.
Dr. Rotstein also shared that his wife called the same branch on April 24 and was told the same thing.
“This is the only branch that I tried but I have been told that it is the bank policy,” added Dr. Rotstein to Narcity.
Dr. Rotstein claims there is neither signage nor a notification on the bank website explaining this policy.
However, TD does have a specific page on its website dedicated to COVID-19 which urges customers to only come to branches if necessary, as well as to practice proper social distancing. The bank is also posting signs on doors noting these policies, one of which was made available to Narcity.*
In a statement emailed to Narcity, a TD spokesperson said: “We have physical distancing standards, based on public health guidelines and advice from our Chief Medical Director, including signs posted and screening questions that ask customers not to enter if they have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or have been asked to self-isolate due to travel.
“If a customer is not able to enter a branch for these reasons, we are helping them one on one, by providing special accommodations to manage their unique circumstances. We apologize that this did not happen for Dr. Rotstein, and for his negative experience.”
However, according to CBC, a TD spokesperson said the bank is screening customers at its branch entrances and asking questions about whether individuals have been exposed to COVID-19 or if they’ve left the country in the past two weeks.
But whether individuals work in healthcare is not among the questions asked, reports CBC.
CBC adds that other banks including Scotiabank and BMO are allowing healthcare workers into branches, but are encouraging customers to do business by phone or online.
Despite aid and support from the provincial government, it seems like some healthcare workers continue to get the short end of the stick.
Just this week, a petition to include all healthcare workers under Ford’s recent wage top-up has been started.
The petition asks to include respiratory therapists and paramedics in the increase.
Meanwhile, in another incident, a doctor in London, Ont. was fined for taking his kids to a park on his day off.
*This story has been updated.
This article’s cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.