Jan 30, 2009

Chaoulli II?

So private surgical clinics, led by Brian Day, are suing the BC government so they can charge patients for services that they, the patients, already pay for through their taxes. What a surprise. Dr Day (aka Dr Profit) unveiled the lawsuit at a news conference on Wednesday at the Plaza 500 in Vancouver. I’d love to tell you what Dr Day said, but his sidekick, Zoltan Nagy, kicked me out.
If I’d been at the news conference listening to Brian Day I wouldn’t have had a chance to read the Statement of Claim before commenting to the media, so perhaps it was not such a bad thing. While the lawsuit claims that BC’s medicare laws deny patients the right of “choice” (ie., the right to “access the private medical care of their choice”), it appears that the litigants may be more concerned with access to money than rights. The Statement of Complaint, for example, says that “individual choice” is breached by the fact that medical practitioners can’t bill patients directly, and that physicians can’t bill for “an amount greater than the amount payable under the [Medical Service Plan]”. Wow, obviously patients must be suffering.
I am still mulling over the lawsuit and will post more on the Lead Up blog over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.