CDM board members Dr. Bob Woollard and Dr. Vanessa Brcic speak to media outside the Cambie Clinic (Photo courtesy of the Health Sciences Association of BC)
In July, British Columbia's Medical Services Commission found that the Cambie Clinic in Vancouver had charged patients illegally, with almost half a million dollars in illegal extra billing in a 30-day period. Dr. Brian Day, owner of the Cambie Surgical Clinic in Vancouver, had 30 days to stop these practices before a court injunction was imposed. Unfortunately, Dr. Day shows no signs of stopping this illegal practice.
As of this week, Dr. Day's 30 days were up, and Canadian Doctors for Medicare along with the B.C. Health Coalition responded yesterday by hosting a news conference outside the clinic letting the public know the real implications of Day's practices, and calling on the BC and federal governments to act.
CDM board members, Dr. Bob Woollard (pictured above) and Dr. Vanessa Brcic were active in the media talking about what matters most - ensuring access to health care based on need, not ability to pay. They called on the federal government to enforce the Canada Health Act, and the BC government to use the full force of its authority to put a stop to illegal billing that is allowing the wealthiest among us to jump to the front of the line for care.
The evidence shows that private clinics such as the Cambie Clinic do not operate more effeciently or reduce wait times. They simply drain the public system of its doctors and prioritze health care for those who can afford it, not necessarily those who need it most.
Dr. Day is making this issue about choice - we should be able to choose to pay for care. CDM knows there are improvements that can be made to our public system so that no one feels they have to choose - after all, falling victim to poor health or an emergency is no one's choice. Our system isn't perfect, but offering health care first to those who can pay for it is not the answer.
Read below for some of our coverage in the media:
JEREMY NUTTALL, Vancouver Sun, August 20, 2012
STEPHEN THOMSON, Georgia Straight, August 20, 2012
Watch Dr. Vanessa Brcic speak to the CBC News at the rally:
CBC News, August 20, 2012