Cambie Case Week 2 Update

This week, lawyers for the Attorney General of BC (AGBC) and the Attorney General of Canada (AGC) began their closing arguments in defense of public health care.

Interesting points from the week include:

  • The defense emphasized local and international evidence that a private tier drains resources from the public system and adds pressure on the public system 
    • In Australia, those with private insurance are treated faster in public hospitals than patients covered under the public health care system (42 day wait for public patients v. 20 days for private patients for elective surgeries). This is despite laws that say public and private patients are to be treated the same.
    • “testimony [from patients] included evidence of incidents in which patients who had paid for private treatment at Cambie experienced complications and had to be treated in the public system at public expense.”
  • The AGC and AGBC argued that the legal changes would make it possible for dual practicing doctors to subsidize their corporate profits with public dollars and demonstrated the significant financial motivations behind the corporate plaintiffs claim; 
    • The AGC said that “[for] the corporate plaintiffs the only real benefit of striking the [challenged legislation] is that they will increase their profits.” 
    • The AGBC cited Dr. Day's personal compensation from Cambie Surgical which ranges from approximately 1.14 million to 2.218 million per year. 
    • The AGBC also noted that “the majority of the plaintiffs' physician witnesses are affiliated with the corporate plaintiffs, either as shareholders or physicians with privileges at Cambie and SRC and receive in most instances significant financial remuneration.”

Next week, the AGC will finish their submissions and the intervenors (including our lawyers) will have their moment to bring their arguments in front of the judge. Joe Arvay, on behalf of our lawyers, will take the stand on Thursday December 5th at 10am  defending the right for everyone to receive the care they need, based on need, not on their ability to pay.  The final day of this decade-long trial will be next Friday December 6th.

With the Cambie Case getting so much coverage in recent weeks we’ve been working to counter misinformation that has made its way into the media. You can help in your own networks by: