Letters needed: B.C. coalition asking for support to save provincial medicare

A British Columbia coalition is asking for the Council of Canadians’ help to send letters to the editor in their local newspaper.  On September 6th, the Province’s medicare is being put on trial in British Columbia, yet most Canadians are unaware.

The British Columbia Health Coalition has a guide for writing a letter to the editor, found here: http://bchealthcoalition.ca/what-you-can-do/save-medicare/save-medicare-resources/letter-editor-resources.

 

A quick background:

Dr. Brian Day is attempting to dismantle the public health care system in the B.C. Supreme Court with a reckless constitutional challenge aimed at allowing for-profit, US-style delivery of medically necessary services. Dr. Day, better known as “Dr. Profit,” will be making his case starting September 6. Can you join us to defend the principles of universal, accessible and publicly funded health services that support all members of our community, not only those who can afford to pay for-profit fees?

Dr. Day owns the Cambie Surgery Centre, a for-profit clinic in Vancouver. His lawsuit tries to make the claim that government regulations that place limitations on private for-profit medical services are in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But, what Dr. Profit and other health privateers are up to isn’t about real solutions to health care challenges; what Dr. Day really cares about is making more profit for himself.

A court decision supporting the claim could open the door to privatized health care with private insurance companies and market-based pricing for medical services. Many people are familiar with this model, which is burdening U.S. residents with crippling medical bills and outrageously high insurance premiums.

Private clinics increase wait times because they entice doctors, nurses and other health care providers to work outside of the public system. Ultimately this puts pressure on governments to privatize health care. Let’s not let it happen.

Studies show for-profit clinics are less safe and offer poorer quality of care. The clinics also “cherry pick” patients with low risk conditions while leaving the public system to take care of patients with complicated and expensive health needs.

A 2012 audit conducted by the B.C. government found that in one month Dr. Day’s clinic had illegally billed patients nearly $500,000, including $66,734 in overlapping claims where Day billed both the patient and the province.

According to the coalition, the outcome of Dr Day’s court case will determine the future of medicare in B.C. and threatens medicare across Canada. He has launched an aggressive attack on the fundamental principle of our medicare: health care should be provided according to a patient’s need and not their ability to pay.

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