Study: Private clinics cause public waiting lists to swell
Wait times longer where private clinics poach staff from public system.
by Dustin Walker
October 22, 2008 — The number of publicly funded surgeries performed at a private clinic in Nanaimo has more than doubled in the past year, as the local hospital grapples with a growing waiting list for procedures. There were 238 surgeries done at the Seafield Surgical Clinic in 2006-07 at a cost of $148,000 compared to 620 procedures for 2007-08. The sharp increase is due to Nanaimo's growing population of older people who require a more complex level of care, said Vancouver Island Health Authority spokeswoman Anya Nimmon. VIHA signed a five-year deal with a number of private clinics, including Seafield, in late 2006 in an effort to reduce waiting lists for day procedures, and to free up hospital operating rooms for longer, often more complicated inpatient procedures, such as cancer and hip and knee replacement surgeries. Procedures to treat cataracts or hernias are among those performed at the clinic, said Nimmon. But a year-long study of the effect of private clinics on Canada's public health care system released earlier this month says wait times are longest in areas where private clinics take personnel from the public system. "We haven't seen any evidence that private clinics are making any contributions to reducing waiting times," said Colleen Fuller, a health policy researcher with the BC Health Coalition. . .
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Private clinics will reduce wait times / Private clinics lengthen wait times, reduce staff
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Private clinics, public cash, by Dustin Walker, Nanaimo Daily News, October 22, 2008
Posted: October 23, 2008
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