Health care advocates welcome federal government intervention in Cambie case

"We will do all that we can to counter this court challenge that would create barriers to accessing our health care system.” — Dr. Monika Dutt, Chair of the Canadian Doctors for Medicare

Vancouver (14 April 2016) — Dr. Brian Day’s campaign to dismantle Canadian public health care was dealt a significant blow as counsel for the Attorney General of Canada presented their intention to intervene in Cambie Surgical Centre et al. v. Medical Services Commission et al (Cambie Case) in BC Supreme Court, says a release from the BC Health Coalition (BCHC) and Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDM).

Federal government to appear on the constitutional question of the Cambie Charter challenge

The Cambie Case is a Charter challenge being led by Dr. Brian Day, a Vancouver-based for-profit clinic owner, asking the Court to rule that four sections of .B.C’s Medicare Protection Act violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. According to their submission in court, the Attorney General of Canada intends to intervene as a party in the case, so they can appear and participate on constitutional questions raised by the Plaintiffs.

The Medical Services Commission of BC, the BC Minister of Health, and the BC Attorney General are the current Defendants in the case; Canadian Doctors for Medicare and the BC Health Coalition are intervenors. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and its Components are supporters of the BC Health Coalition, Canadian Doctors for Medicare,.and the fight against this Charter challenge.

Want private insurance corporations in charge of Canada's health care system? They will if Dr. Day has his way

“Dr. Brian Day is on a calculated campaign to do away with Canadian public health care and turn Canada’s system into a US-style system where international private insurance corporations run the show and patients foot the bill,” said Rick Turner of the BC Health Coalition. “We are pleased to see this government understands the Cambie Case could seriously affect the lives of all Canadians and their expertise is most welcome.”

The Cambie Case is scheduled to go to trial on June 6 in BC Supreme Court and is expected to run up to 8 months. As intervenors in the case, BCHC and Canadian Doctors for Medicare will bring expert evidence before the courts about the costs for-profit health care and health insurance could have for Canada as well as evidence showing Quebec’s Chaoulli case has undermined patient access to care.

Result of case could mean preferential treatment for those who can pay over those who cannot

“The evidence is on our side,” said Dr. Monika Dutt, Chair of the Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “If Dr. Day wins this case, it will create a health care system where medical care is provided preferentially to those who can pay for it, while waitlists grow longer for the vast majority of the population. We will do all that we can to counter this court challenge that would create barriers to accessing our health care system.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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