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NEWS RELEASE · 19th July 2012
Ministry of Health
Minister of Health Michael de Jong has issued the following statement:

"Today the Medical Services Commission released an audit of Cambie Surgeries Corporation and the Specialist Referral Clinic (Vancouver) Inc. which indicated a practice of billing patients for publicly insured medical services.

"I understand that the commission has indicated that should the practice of billing patients for publicly insured medical services not cease, a court-ordered injunction will be sought.

"The Medical Services Commission has a legislative mandate to independently enforce the provisions of the Medicare Protection Act, which ensures matters are delivered in a manner consistent with the Canada Health Act.

"The Medicare Protection Act is designed to preserve a publicly managed and fiscally sustainable health-care system for British Columbia, in which access to medical care is based on need and not an individual's ability to pay.

"Today's announcement by the Medical Services Commission is consistent with its responsibilities under the Medicare Protection Act."
Costs are only transferred.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 19th July 2012
There are websites that compare a countries health spending. One is at: http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/oecd042111.cfm there are others.

Canada spends about $1,000 less than the U.S. and Canada is about fourth and as a percent of GDP that is considered about average in the top 15.

We are constantly bombarded with notions that health spending is "out of control". That notion may just serve those who have an interest in more privatization of the service. The delivery of health care, education, other social service and the provision of facilities to provide them are a gold mine in profits for business interests. The carrot is very attractive.

The problem is as Ed Deak in the Caribou so often writes, "Costs are not cut, only transferred."
Extra Billing???
Comment by James Ippel on 19th July 2012
There is no indication of Extra Billing by Cambie Surgeries. It is plainly stated they billed the patients for services that are also covered under publicaly insured medical services.
It is my understanding that the patients went to the private clinic to receive accelerated service instead of going on a long waiting list. This practice is perfectly legal in Quebec, why not the rest of Canada? Do we speak the wrong language elsewhere?
We should also keep in mind that it is perfectly legal for agencies such as ICBC and Workers Comp., along with Professional Sports Teams to utilize private clinics. Why do you ask? The answer is simpe-they can afford it. If you or I somehow find the money to use these clinics it becomes against the law(except in Quebec)
Our medical system is broke. Compare it to the system in Germany and many other European countries. In Germany they have one administrator for every 16,000 patients while our system requires one administrator for every 1,400 patients. I don't know what this tells you, but it tells me we are top heavy with administrators who are sadly lacking the skills to work efficiently while drawing large saleries.
We must reduce the administrative staff, and use funnel this money into patient care.
Canada is one of the highest spending countries on Health Care, yet ranks 30th out of 30 when it comes to value received for money spent.
Does this tell you something???
Refund?
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 19th July 2012
So will Cambie Surgeries Corp. be required to refund taxpayers for the extra billing charges or will they just get a slap on the wrist because they are financial supporters of the BC Liberal Party?