Public Values

More complaints against concierge medical services surfacing

Two BC clinics facing investigations.

Dix: Contraventions could be penalized with repayment of public money and private Straight Goods News staff

Vancouver, BC (January 31, 2011): In the wake of a Quebec public health insurance board investigation into Medisys 123 and Health Canada's commitment to investigate Sentinelle Health Group in Ottawa, advocates, doctors, and MPs are calling on Health Canada to take action on the Copeman Healthcare Centre — a membership-based clinic in Vancouver and Calgary that charges $3,900 up front and annual fees of $2,900 to provide preferred access to medical services mostly billed to the public health insurance plan.

Dr. Nora Etches of Canadian Doctors for Medicare says, "Every time Copeman opens in a community it poaches family doctors and other professionals from that community, leaving patients who cannot afford its exorbitant fees without a family doctor."

The calls come at a time when more complaints about private clinics are surfacing. The BC Medical Services Commission has already begun its audit of Dr. Brian Day, former president of the Canadian Medical Association, who admits to extra billing of patients for medically necessary services.

Adrian Dix, the opposition health critic who is now seeking the leadership of the B.C. New Democratic Party, suggested those clinics found to be breaking the law could be ordered to repay any public money and private fees they have collected in contravention of the law.

Links and sources
  Medicare advocates call for Health Canada investigation into Copeman Healthcare Centre's member-only "concierge medicine" model
  Private clinic opens doors to auditors

Posted: February 09, 2011

  Health care
  Public services

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