Public Values

Ontario MPP irate over illegal health charges

PC member was charged $125 to book appointment.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim WilsonOctober 30, 2008 — A $125 fee to schedule an appointment to see a dermatologist is proof some people in Ontario are facing "illegal" charges to access health services that should be covered for all citizens, Simcoe-Grey Progressive Conservative MPP Jim Wilson charged yesterday.

Wilson, a former health minister in the 1990s, said he was surprised when he was asked to pay the fee when he tried to make an appointment with his dermatologist, and was told the charge was being imposed because he didn't have a referral from a family doctor.

The Ontario Medical Association estimates there are 850,000 people in the province who, like Wilson, don't have a family doctor because of a shortage of physicians.

"I informed the receptionist that I didn't have a family doctor, so I couldn't get a referral letter, and secondly, that I was pretty sure that the $125 fee was illegal," Wilson told the legislature.

"I can probably afford the $125, but I am concerned about ... Ontarians who don't have a family doctor, who can't legitimately get a referral letter and are being asked to produce their credit card number in order to make an appointment with a specialist in this province."

Health Minister David Caplan responded by virtually ignoring Wilson's concerns and instead talked about how previous Conservative governments closed hospitals and fired nurses . . .

To read further. . .

Links and sources
  Ontarians facing illegal health charges, by CP in The Barrie Examiner, October 30, 2008

Posted: October 30, 2008

  Health care
  Public services
  Front lines
  Voices of privatization

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