‘Monopolies are very poor for the end consumer,’ says B.C. doctor behind long push for private care

National Post
Dr. Brian Day outside B.C. Supreme Court National Post | James Alexander Michie

Dr. Brian Day outside B.C. Supreme Court on Sept. 17, 2018.Nick Procaylo/Postmedia/File

It should be noted that the Supreme Court battle over whether medical patients when faced with long waiting times, have the constitutional right to seek medically necessary services by paying out of pocket or through private insurance.

Thus, it is understood that those who oppose a public-private two-level or parallel system are concerned that such a system favors patients who can pay instead of those who need services most. Also, last year, the B.C. The government said it would begin enforcing the provisions of the province’s Medicare Protection Act that prohibits private billing for medically necessary care.

Even so, the plaintiffs in the current case managed to obtain a court order of execution until the constitutional case was heard


Certainly, the lead plaintiff, Dr. Brian Day, who has operated a private clinic for more than 20 years, argues that current prohibitions violate patients’ rights to life, liberty, and security. Also during a recess of the procedures, he answered a series of questions, among which some such as:

Q: What exactly are you seeking?

A: We’re seeking the right for Canadians — because it will go to the Supreme Court of Canada — to have the right to an alternative when the government has promised health care, failed to deliver it and then you are stuck on a government-controlled wait list. Canada is the only jurisdiction on Earth where it’s unlawful to obtain private health insurance to cover hospital and physician services. You can buy that insurance for your pets but not for yourself.

Q: Why not put all your effort into bolstering the public system?

A: The way to bolster the public system is to eliminate its monopoly on the funding of hospital and physician services. That’s why countries like Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France and New Zealand have public systems that outperform ours — because they don’t have a monopoly. Like in every other aspect of society monopolies are very poor for the end consumer. That’s what the world has shown us. Most of the patients we treated when we opened our clinic were covered by B.C.’s workers’ compensation agency (WorkSafeBC) or the RCMP and these were arbitrarily exempted. One of the witnesses in our case was a fellow who had the same injury on both knees — on one knee it was covered by WorkSafeBC and he got it treated quickly and the other knee he was facing a wait of 18 months.

Source: Douglas Quan | National Post

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