Doctor threatens Canadian health care

"This doctor is trying to change the way medicine is practised in Canada, making it more like what exists in the United States."

How much do you know about our Canadian medical system? Have you heard of Dr. Brian Day? Do you know what he is trying to do? I believe that all Canadians need to be aware of what is happening in our medicare system.

This doctor is trying to change the way medicine is practised in Canada, making it more like what exists in the United States.

According to the B.C. Health Coalition, the defining principle at the heart of Canadian medicine is that health care is provided according to patients’ needs, not their ability to pay. He believes this is unconstitutional. His challenge to this will be heard in the B.C. Supreme Court on Sept. 8 of this year. Although this challenge is launched in B.C., it has the potential to bring U.S.-style medical care to all of our country.

Evidence shows that the system Dr. Day is seeking would lead to less care and poorer health for average Canadians. There is no evidence that private, for-profit care results in better health care – not anywhere in the world.

According to the B.C. Health Coalition there is evidence that Dr. Day’s Cambie Surgery Centre has had patients unlawfully extra-billed $491,654 in just 30 days. In one case, a patient was billed $7,215 for services that would have cost $1,288 in the B.C. health care system. Auditors also found over $66,000 in overlapping claims, evidence that suggests double dipping for the same service. Would this become the norm for the kind of care he proposes?

We’ve heard of the difficulties many patients in the U.S. face when they are seeking health care. Some lose life savings or their homes in order to pay for their health care costs. Some may even be refused care.

I know our health care system has its problems and that we need to solve those to be more efficient. Doing that makes sense. Adopting a private, for-profit system like Dr. Day advocates is NOT the answer. It will create greater problems for a large part of our population.

We cannot allow a for-profit health care system which provides care for those who have money to become the norm in our country. As citizens who care deeply we need to let our politicians and law-makers know how we feel.

Bob Bastian