Looks like Canadians will have to wait longer for surgery–as “by six months or more”–as the Canadian government outlaws private citizens from going to private medical doctors in Canada, and paying for their own medical care out of their own pocket, because they tired of unnecessarily waiting for “hip replacements, twisted ankles and cancerous lungs” to be treated by the public health care system. Quoting the Vancouver Sun:

…legislation allows the province to crack down [“crack down”???] on private sector health clinics that may be breaking the Canada Health Act by charging patients for medical procedures…The bill, which was rushed through the legislature this week, has sent shockwaves through B.C.’s medical community, which says medical waiting lists will increase as private clinics offering surgeries or diagnostic MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography imaging) scans go out of business. “If the private sector is closed down, people have the option of either waiting in the public system or going south of the border to facilities there,” said Dr. John Turner, president of the B.C. Medical Association.

Thanks goodness Canadians have America to turn to. But if America adopts Canada’s health care system where will American’s turn to? The Bahamas?

The legislation, which likely won’t be implemented until early in the new year, imposes enhanced powers to audit medical facilities and fines of up to $20,000 for those found providing fee-for-service care contrary to the Canada Health Act. Dr. Brian Day, medical director of the Cambie Surgical Centre, said the legislation will increase waiting lists while forcing private sector care providers into bankruptcy. [December 04, 2003, “Patients face surgery delays as B.C. cracks down on clinics”, Vancouver Sun]

[Hat Tip: S. Liesenberg]

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