British Columbia Advocates Condemn BC’s Decision to Support Public Health-Medical Monopoly

Advocates of private health are disappointed by the British Columbia Court of Appeals’ decision against a constitutional objection filed by the Vancouver Surgical Clinic, saying the patient has died on a waiting list. I am saying.

Cambie Surgeries Corporation has filed a constitutional objection to two sections of British Columbia’s Health Protection Act, preventing physicians from charging patients beyond the fees paid in the Medical Services Plan (MSP), MSP. Banned the sale of private insurance covering treatments offered under.

Plaintiffs allege that the ban is contrary to Article 7 of the Charter, stating: “

In September 2020, Judge John Steves of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled against Canby and his four patient co-plaintiffs.July 15, this year, British Columbia Court of Appeals Supported the decision He decided that private options would worsen latency. Therefore, the reduction of rights in Section 7 is justified under the provisions of Section 1 of “Reasonable Restrictions Provided by Law so that it can be explicitly justified in a free and democratic society”.

Dr. Brian Day opened the Cambie Surgery Center in 1996 and began proceedings in 2009. He believes this ruling lays the foundation.

“There’s a lot to help us in the Supreme Court of Canada,” Day told the Epoch Times.

“Obviously we are disappointed with it [appeal court] The decision, but they identified many errors. They basically came to the conclusion that there was a right-to-life infringement that the judge did not do, “he said.

But he believes the Appeal Judge also made a mistake. In paragraph 41, the majority opinion of Judge Robert Baumann and Judge David Harris said that the available statistics on waiting times “did not capture the full distribution and raw SPR.” [Surgical Patient Registry] No data has been recorded. “

I don’t agree with the day.

“We had data that people were dying on the waiting list, but we also had data on the number of people with untreated cancer. It was submitted to the Court of Appeals as evidence. So I’m a little worried that they didn’t even see the data that was there, “he says.

Dr. Brian Day, Medical Director of CambieSurgeryCentre, is taking pictures at his office in Vancouver, Canada, on August 31, 2016. (Darryl Dyck / Candian Press)

Judge Laurie Ann Fenlon agreed with the majority opinion. However, she further stated that “basic justice” was denied as a result of the ban on private choices. She discovered these “terrible imbalances: long-term distress, irreparable physical harm, and even increased risk to life.” Nevertheless, she said that Section 1 would invalidate Section 7’s freedom. Otherwise, the waiting times of the most vulnerable people will be “potentially” worse.

“Three years after being needed, a system that provides care could not be described as a system that provides access to health care, except for the most tense definition,” Fenron wrote.

“I recognize a legal discrepancy in recognizing that laws that do not follow the principles of basic justice are still constitutional, but this is one of the rare cases that imposes such consequences. I conclude that Section 1 is upheld if the law that infringes an individual’s rights meets certain criteria but the needs of others, the public interest, impose such consequences. The purpose is to guarantee that. “

According to Day, vulnerable Canadians are already inferior to other Canadians in medical care, according to a Commonwealth Foundation (CF) study.of 2021, CF survey A healthcare system based on criteria such as affordability, timeliness, preventive care, safe care, collaborative care, engagement and patient preferences for people in 10 high-income countries with universal health insurance and the United States. About their performance in their health care. Only the United States had a worse income-related performance gap than Canada.

however, 2016 CF survey In Canada, we found that the highest percentage of patients have been waiting for elective surgery for more than 4 months in the last two years. Canada’s total of 18% was twice the average of 11 countries and six times that of the United States.

“False dichotomy”

Nadeem Esmail, Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, states that Canadians are “obsessed with this false dichotomy.” He believes that the British Columbia court ruling was not in common interest.

“It’s not entirely clear who won that decision, but it’s clear enough that British Columbia patients and those in need of medical care have lost. This to the idea that public monopoly is equal to universality. There is a rare Canadian obsession, and that’s not just true, “Esmail said in an interview.

“Sweden takes a very similar approach to the Canadian model. It’s a local system, a system covered by universal taxes. Still, in Sweden, individuals are universal when they go to the hospital. You can choose to go under the terms of the system or take care of yourself with your own resources with your own private insurance. This is the same option that anyone has in the UK or Australia. “

Data from the organization The for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that Canada has only one bed for every 400 citizens, 91.6 percent of which was occupied before the pandemic. Esmail says it was the lack of a Canadian approach that caused the inferior results.

“Looking at developed countries, in all other developed countries with universal access healthcare systems, patients take care of themselves with their own resources if the universal scheme does not want or cannot be provided. You can see that you can choose the health care they want, “he says.

“This improves the performance of Universal Access…. [Patients] Waiting time will be shorter. They have better access to doctors and medical techniques. “

This approach also provides more timely access as some people choose private care. This allows the public system to “focus attention on people who are still in the system and are not paying for their care,” Esmail says.

“We also have the incentive to provide additional services because doctors can perform surgery outside of publicly available hours and serve those individuals. There are countless benefits to be created. “

Epoch Times Photo
British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke at a press conference in Victoria on December 21, 2021. (Canadian Press / Chadhiporito)

But some people, including British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix, Welcomed the judgment..

“I am very pleased with today’s decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeals,” Dix said.

“This ruling emphasizes the importance of a strong public health system that underlies Canada’s identity. The purpose of the Medicare Protection Act is based on the need for access to the required health care, not on the individual’s ability to pay. Is to have a publicly controlled medical system in British Columbia.

Dr. Melanie Bechard, chair of Canadian Medicare doctors, who intervened in the proceedings, said there was a fair solution to address the issues of waiting time and quality of care.

“It’s not one of them to allow doctors to charge patients as much as they want and force them to pay for themselves or buy private insurance,” Bechard said in a statement.

“Catalyst for change”

In her judgment, Judge Fenlon said the pressure to change the current system would increase unless its shortcomings were addressed.

“If there is an improvement in the provision of timely care in the public system, the pressure of voters’ dissatisfaction with the current system and the vast number of people who are unable to obtain timely care will trigger the change. “She wrote.

A 2019 Ipsos Poll We found that 42% of Canadians pointed out that waiting time in the emergency room or hospital was among the top three health concerns among the 15 options. Colin Craig, president of, said people with poor health on the waiting list would find it difficult to accept the Court of Appeals’ ruling.

“It’s a very difficult drug for the court to say that it’s understandable that patients suffer because of the health care system, but doing so helps to reach the government’s ideological goals. … You can’t just put a patient on the waiting list and call that healthcare, ”Craig said in an interview.

“It happens frequently in this country, and too often patients die before they get a health care opportunity. There are all kinds of suffering patients happening in this country. And it doesn’t make sense to continue the status quo. “

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.