Patient-doctor-public alliance launches their case to save Canadian health care

VANCOUVER - Today a group of patients, doctors and health care advocates won the right to present expert evidence defending Canadian health care in the BC Supreme Court case against clinic owner Brian Day. This court battle will determine the future of Canadian public health care.

“Brian Day’s plan to bring US-style health care to Canada would be disastrous for Canadians,” explains Dr. Rupinder Brar of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “If Dr. Day wins, physicians will be allowed to charge patients any amount they like for services, and patients who can pay will get faster care than the rest of us. A win for Dr. Day will mean skyrocketing costs and longer wait times in the public health system as it loses doctors to a parallel private system”.

Dr. Day operates the Vancouver-based for-profit Cambie Surgery Corporation, infamous for unlawfully billing patients – in some cases, up to six times the legal amount. Day and his clinics are behind a constitutional challenge to Medicare, scheduled to go to trial in BC Supreme Court this September.

The coalition opposing Day includes, among others, the Canadian Doctors for Medicare and the BC Health Coalition. These organizations are concerned that Day’s case would increase health care costs while lengthening overall wait times for patients and erasing the fundamental Canadian principle of universal access to quality health care.

“Brian Day’s plan to bring US-style health care to Canada would be disastrous for Canadians,” explains Dr. Rupinder Brar of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “If Dr. Day wins, physicians will be allowed to charge patients any amount they like for services, and patients who can pay will get faster care than the rest of us. A win for Dr. Day will mean skyrocketing costs and longer wait times in the public health system as it loses doctors to a parallel private system”.

Also active in the coalition is a patient living with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy who could not afford and would not qualify for private health insurance under a US-style system.

“Our universal health care provides so much more than just hospitals,” says Rick Turner, BC Health Coalition co-chair, “it ensures that patients have access to care, that doctors can focus on practicing medicine, and that Canadian businesses aren’t haggling over health benefits instead of creating new jobs. In September, we will present evidence to the Court that irrefutably demonstrates the benefits of our single-payer, public health care system.”

The “Coalition Interveners” as they’re called in court will present evidence highlighting the capability of Day's challenge to compromise patient health, disrupt medical practices, increase costs, and weaken the Canadian economy.

For more information contact:

Adam Lynes-Ford, BC Health Coalition
Cell: 604-787-6560
adam@bchealthcoalition.ca

Katie Raso, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
Office: 1-877-276-4128Cell: 647-705-2192
katie@canadiandoctorsformedicare.ca