On Friday, counsel in our historic BC healthcare choice case filed an injunction against the BC Government, seeking to stop the enforcement of new financial penalties that the government has threatened to impose on doctors who treat patients looking for treatment options other than languishing on growing wait lists.
The full filing can be found here.
Why this is important:
For more than 20 years, BC patients have had the choice to go to one of several private clinics to seek treatment, rather than wait in pain for months or years.
But now the new BC Government has announced that, for the first time, starting on October 1, doctors working at private clinics, including those working at private clinics providing medical imaging, such as MRIs and CT scans, will be subject to crippling financial penalties, effectively cutting off patients’ timely access to these services.
This is why we are supporting this critical injunction: if we win, it will preserve the status quo – a status quo that for more than two decades has helped tens of thousands of Canadians get treatment and get back to work faster – pending the final outcome of the Charter challenge for patient choice.
As counsel writes in the factum asking for the injunction (it’s long, but I encourage you to read it, as it’s a compelling description of the essence of the entire case!):
“British Columbians have come to expect and rely on access to private medical care to protect their health care needs, given the extent of harm caused by the rationing of health care services in the public system.
The Government’s wait time data shows that the public health care system is not even close to meeting the Government’s own maximum acceptable wait times for the provision of medically-necessary surgeries.
The health care of British Columbians depends on the continued ability to access private medical care.”
Our patient plaintiffs are fighting simply for the right to take control of their own health care – a right that citizens of every other developed country, from the U.K. to Australia, from Sweden to Switzerland, have – and which the Canadian Supreme Court has held is a right here in Canada too.
That is why we are supporting these patients’ fight for their Charter rights to life and security of the person.
And whether we win or lose this battle for an injunction, we will keep fighting the war for patient choice until those Charter rights are recognized as a reality for all Canadians.
Please show your support for our patient plaintiffs by donating today!