Major victory for patient choice as private BC medical clinics granted injunction to remain open

Major victory for patient choice as private BC medical clinics granted injunction to remain open

VANCOUVER: The BC Court of Appeal has granted an injunction that allows Cambie Surgeries Corporation and other private BC clinics to continue to treat patients, as they have done for over 20 years.

Today’s injunction comes on the heels of the trial decision in Cambie Surgeries v Attorney General (BC), which found that the government could enforce a law that had the effect of prohibiting private clinics like Cambie. That decision is being appealed. While the larger case on the future of private non-government healthcare is appealed, patients will continue to be able to access vital medical care at the clinics.

“This is a huge victory for patients in British Columbia, who want to continue to access care when the government system fails them. Patients have a right to make choices about how to seek medical care, and thanks to today’s judgment, patients won’t need to wait until the larger case is appealed. They can continue to seek care at clinics like Cambie, as they have for over two decades,” said CCF Executive Director, Joanna Baron.

In the decision, Justice Hunter ordered that the clinics be permitted to remain open to care for patients whose medically necessary surgeries have been scheduled beyond the Ministry of Health wait times, and for patients who wait beyond a wait time benchmark because of lack of capacity in the government system.

“While it is shocking and callous that the BC government would try to shut down medical clinics in the middle of a pandemic to prove some ideological point, the best interests of patients have prevailed. And we are confident patients will prevail in the larger case later next year,” continued Baron. “While we await the appeal, we are relieved that patients can continue to access care at these vital clinics.”

The original version of this release can be found here.