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For profit health care has no right operating in Canada

August 15, 2014 | Gillian Bateman

The Province

Beware! Our health-care system is being accosted!

Despite its “warts,” Canadians value Canada’s health-care system. It has been a right for over 40 years, since Tommy Douglas fought to provide equitable, world-class health care to all Canadians.

So why is Dr. Brian Day’s B.C. Supreme Court case not garnering greater media coverage and public attention?

Day, the owner of a private, for-profit medical clinic in Vancouver, is challenging Canada’s constitution by contending that health care should be provided according to “patient needs”; but he fails to say, “if they pay extra.”

He makes the case that Canadian-style medicare is constitutionally incorrect, thereby opening the door to U.S.-style care — succinctly put, user pay.

Obviously, those with financial means receive enhanced, prompt service; yet evidence that private, for-profit care results in better care or shorter public wait times is unavailable.

Interestingly, a provincial audit reported extra billing and double-dipping schemes by Day’s clinic — contraventions to the Canada Health Act when performing procedures paid for, with public tax dollars, by Canada’s current health-care system.

The problem? Public resources — people and facilities — are being skimmed by the private system, without evidence of an improved system for Canadians.

That’s the financial argument … and morally? Are Canadians prepared to ignore the needs of their brothers and sisters?

We need to fight hard to maintain the principles of a current public system that is envied around the world — despite flaws — which are more numerous and egregious in Day’s “patient needs” system.

For the full article, click here.

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