Government wants in on ground-breaking health care court case

Trial could have significant implications on health care across the country as federal government looks for intervenor status

Government wants in on ground-breaking health care court case
Keep your eyes peeled for a case that could have huge implications on health care in Canada.

The Globe and Mail has reported on the story of Dr Brian Day and his Cambie Surgery Centre in British Columbia. Dr Day, who is a former president of the Canadian Medical Association and an orthopedic surgeon, has challenged the Medicare Protection Act on its ability to stop residents from accessing health care services privately when they are also funded by the Medical Services Plan in the province. Day would like to see the introduction of a European style system that allows both private and public systems to operate simultaneously.

Now the publication has reported that the federal government wishes to get involved in the case by seeking intervenor status.

It quoted David Clements, communications director for federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, as stating: “our role is to protect the act.”

The move has received support from Vanessa Brcic, a board member at the Canadian Doctors for Medicare. She told the Globe and Mail that “it’s good” that federal lawyers “are signaling an intention to protect the publicly funded, single-payer health care system.”

Meanwhile, Dr Day is quoted as saying he is “not afraid” of the lawyers although he did express concerns that their involvement may delay the court hearing.

The trial is scheduled to get under way on June 6.