Ian Mulgrew: Dix loses another round to private clinics, accused of ignoring court order

Vancouver Sun
Health Minister Adrian Dix | James Alexander Michie | NICK PROCAYLO

Critics charge that provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix is engaged in an ‘ideological crusade against these private clinics. NICK PROCAYLO / PNG FILES

The government of British Columbia has been denied permission to appeal a court order preventing it from enforcing new and stringent provisions of the Medicare Protection Act that restrict access to private medical services.

Likewise, those who are involved in the battle for health care say that Victoria was already ignoring the resource. This, in trying to force doctors and clinics to sign “compliance statements”. Where likewise it was agreed not to provide any private payment surgery.

“If they refuse to sign, their access to operating room time in the public system will be restricted,” their new application to the B.C. Supreme Court states.

“The only possible rationale for the requirement is to effectively prohibit physicians and private surgical clinics from continuing to provide Private-Pay Surgeries by restricting access to public facilities to provide public surgeries … This is directly contrary to both the spirit and express terms of the Injunction Order.”

Action by the judge of the Supreme Court

Likewise, Supreme Court Justice Janet Winteringham on November 23 prevented the province from applying the recently promulgated provisions of the law until June 1 or another court order pending the final determination of the courts’ constitutional problems raised by a marathon trial on restrictions on access to private care.

However, the proceedings before Judge John Steeves did not begin until September 2016. This was after a postponement on the original day of the trial due to the disclosure of the province to the plaintiffs of thousands of pages of documents. It is necessary to mention that the trial has been harassed at times by uncomfortable and bitter discussions and countless hard probatory disputes. Being that Steeves has issued at least 45 formal rulings and there have been at least five previous trips to the top bank.

Added to this, incessant claims have been filed during the request for precautionary measures to prevent the repression of October 1 in private care.

In this way, Winteringham established that the injunction was necessary because the clinics, which began to open a quarter of a century ago, said they would be forced to stop providing services, leaving hundreds of patients on the already extensive public waiting lists.

Source: Ian Mulgrew | The Vancouver Sun

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