Healthcare. (Pixabay)

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

A constitutional challenge by a doctor who argues patients should have the right to pay for private care if the public system leaves them waiting too long is expected to wrap up today in a Vancouver courtroom.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the British Columbia government.

The case started in B.C. Supreme Court in 2016 and final arguments are scheduled to come to a close today.

Day is an orthopedic surgeon who legally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver in 1996.

He says he opened the centre to create more operating-room time for surgeons who couldn’t get it in public hospitals.

However, the facility has been operating since 2003 in violation of unproclaimed provisions of the provincial Medicare Protection Act.

Joe Arvay told the court on Thursday that Day’s main objective is to cherry pick parts of the Medicare Protection Act after it is abolished. The act requires doctors to opt out of billing the government for work in the public system if they are also earning more money in private clinics.

READ MORE: Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Arvay said a victory for Day would usher in a complicated and expensive administrative regime dependent on public funds for the benefit of physicians wishing to expand private services that would not be regulated by the government.

“The plaintiffs are not seeking to opt out of the public system in its entirety,” Arvay said. “Even in the private market they wish to establish, they would continue to benefit from society’s investment in health-care professionals and public funding of the entire health-care infrastructure.”

Arvay said doctors employed in the public system are known to refer patients to themselves in private clinics where they also work in order to bypass wait times that apply to everyone who can’t afford to pay out of pocket or through private insurance.

He said physicians are paid more money in the private system than they earn in hospitals so they stand to financially benefit twice from such a scheme.

Arvay represents an intervener group that includes two physicians, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, the BC Health Coalition and two patients.

Day maintains that patients who have waited too long for an operation or diagnostic tests in the public system are deprived of timely care and should have a right to private treatment under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“I call her my adopted daughter”: Salmon Arm couple embrace student exchange experience

Rotary Youth Exchange students choose to shelter in place during COVID-19 pandemic

Chamber steps up for Sicamous businesses trying to stay open

Organization creates directory of changes businesses have made in response to COVID-19

Salmon Arm firefighters sound sirens in support of hospital staff

Fire chief hopes to have more emergency responders involved in upcoming parade

Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19

Clinic will not be a walk-in centre, residents must call family doctor or nurse practioner first

Last-minute hiring means Salmon Arm’s emergency shelter can remain open

Salvation Army’s Lighthouse shelter to stay open beyond normal closing date of April 1

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Demand doubles at Revelstoke food bank

Community Connections concerned whether they can meet increasing need

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Lake Country athlete selected to participate in national training program

Volleyball player Chloe Ladd will be heading to the Lower Mainland in the fall

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Super Beaver Task Force: April Fool’s Day joke lightens weight of COVID-19 uncertainty

Ducks Unlimited Canada enlists beavers’ help to protect wetlands in unconventional way

Solar panels installed at Summerland’s municipal hall

Power from energy project expected to provide five per cent of building’s power use

COVID-19: Okanagan College student pens petition for pass/fail grades

Optional pass/fail program would reduce stress, recognize students’ challenges faced in pandemic

Most Read