Private BC clinics violating the Canada Health Act
Explosion of for-profit clinics jeopardizing equality and fairness of the health care.
VANCOUVER, September 29, 2010: New research conducted by the BC Health Coalition (BCHC) has revealed evidence that for-profit clinics across the province continue to openly charge patients additional fees to jump the queue for health services already covered by Medicare.
A report by the coalition – Eroding Public Medicare: Update on for-profit health care in BC – shows that the problem has worsened since a previous report was issued two years ago and that an "explosion of private for-profit health facilities across the country" is jeopardizing the equality and fairness of the health care system.
"This latest report confirms that Health Minister Falcon must take a leadership role in protecting British Columbians from private investors who are charging unlawful user fees and billing patients for health services already covered by Medicare," says coalition co-chair Rachel Tutte.
She noted that the need for action has also been made clear by a BC Court of Appeal ruling confirming that the province's medical services commission has the authority to audit for-profit clinics in BC.
This includes the Dr. Brian Day's Cambie Surgery Centre. Cambie is the largest for-profit clinic in BC and is leading a legal attack on laws that protect patients from being charged user fees for publicly insured, medically necessary health care.
The new coalition report also comes in advance of the convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) next week when delegates will debate a resolution calling for a provincial moratorium.
Links and sources
Eroding Public Medicare: BC Update 2010 - Download
Posted: October 06, 2010
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