BC Court of Appeal dismisses challenge to Medicare Protection Act
Canadian Health Coalition Chairperson Pauline Worsfold, RN, says last week’s decision by the British Columbia Court of Appeal was the right one, upholding Canadians’ right to equal access to health care.
“The decision tells every citizen that health care is a right, not a privilege based on the ability to pay,” said Worsfold. “This is a long-established moral principle, not an economic advantage.”
The BC Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a Vancouver surgeon’s challenge of the province’s Medicare Protection Act. Cambie Surgeries Corporation CEO Brian Day, along with powerful allies, have spent more than a decade seeking to create profit-driven, private health care.
“What that clearly tells us is public health care needs to be strengthened rather than dismantled, and what is at the heart of this case is really the foundation of public health care in this country”. https://t.co/IRSwXexTs9— BC Health Coalition (@BCHC) July 15, 2022
Canadian Health Coalition member organizations do not deny that the public health care system is under severe strain and needs improvement, not dismantling. Allies, such as Canadian Doctors for Medicare, agree that the way forward must be to benefit all Canadians, not just those with deep pockets.
“Fix our public health care system, do not destroy it.”PAULINE WORSFOLD, RN, CHAIRPERSON OF THE CANADIAN HEALTH COALITION
“There are efficient, evidence-based solutions that are proven to reduce wait times and improve the quality of care in an equitable way,” says Melanie Bechard, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “Allowing doctors to charge patients as much as they want, and forcing patients to pay out-of-pocket, or purchase private insurance, is not one of them.”
Today’s victory affirms the need to strengthen our public healthcare system rather than dismantle it. The ruling echoes Justice Steeves’ original judgment: access to care should be based on medical need and not ability to pay.#bcpoli #cdnpoli #cdnhealth https://t.co/rRBaL9JeiW pic.twitter.com/VcrcT145uu— Canadian Doctors for Medicare (@CdnDrs4Medicare) July 16, 2022
Worsfold says the BC decision goes far beyond provincial and territorial boundaries, and must help guide the future of Canada’s public health care system.
“At its heart, the federal government must adequately fund health care nationally, with accountability and transparency by the provinces as part of the bargain,” she said. “I am a frontline nurse and am committed to being there for every patient I care for, regardless of their ability to pay. That is the career and the life I signed up for.”
“Fix our public health care system, do not destroy it,” she said.