Busy September

The summer break is over, and the Cambie trial is back in the courtroom as of this week. There will be three weeks of witnesses, including Brian Day (starting September 17), on the stand over September. During the week of September 24, when the Cambie trial is not sitting, Judge Winteringham will hear the injunction application being brought by Cambie.

Cambie is trying to have the new enforcement legislation against extra-billing of patients from beginning on October 1st, saying there should be no enforcement of the Medicare Protection Act until after their constitutional challenge is decided (which could be a year or longer if it is appealed).

This would mean that private clinics and doctors could continue to extra-bill patients, even though that would be in contravention of the Canada Health Act. This could lead to the federal government continuing to withhold health transfers, affecting BC's ability to fund health care services. Extra-billing causes hardship for many patients and is in contravention of the primary principle of Canada's public health care system -that health care be based on need, not on the ability to pay.