Healthcare. (Pixabay)

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

A constitutional challenge by a doctor who argues patients should have the right to pay for private care if the public system leaves them waiting too long is expected to wrap up today in a Vancouver courtroom.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the British Columbia government.

The case started in B.C. Supreme Court in 2016 and final arguments are scheduled to come to a close today.

Day is an orthopedic surgeon who legally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver in 1996.

He says he opened the centre to create more operating-room time for surgeons who couldn’t get it in public hospitals.

However, the facility has been operating since 2003 in violation of unproclaimed provisions of the provincial Medicare Protection Act.

Joe Arvay told the court on Thursday that Day’s main objective is to cherry pick parts of the Medicare Protection Act after it is abolished. The act requires doctors to opt out of billing the government for work in the public system if they are also earning more money in private clinics.

READ MORE: Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Arvay said a victory for Day would usher in a complicated and expensive administrative regime dependent on public funds for the benefit of physicians wishing to expand private services that would not be regulated by the government.

“The plaintiffs are not seeking to opt out of the public system in its entirety,” Arvay said. “Even in the private market they wish to establish, they would continue to benefit from society’s investment in health-care professionals and public funding of the entire health-care infrastructure.”

Arvay said doctors employed in the public system are known to refer patients to themselves in private clinics where they also work in order to bypass wait times that apply to everyone who can’t afford to pay out of pocket or through private insurance.

He said physicians are paid more money in the private system than they earn in hospitals so they stand to financially benefit twice from such a scheme.

Arvay represents an intervener group that includes two physicians, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, the BC Health Coalition and two patients.

Day maintains that patients who have waited too long for an operation or diagnostic tests in the public system are deprived of timely care and should have a right to private treatment under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

Wrong-way driver triggers multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 in South Surrey

Police received multiple reports of vehicle heading north in southbound lanes

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read