Media Advisory: Health care on trial as Vancouver’s Dr. Brian Day sues B.C. government

Ottawa – On Tuesday, Dr. Brian Day’s lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry of Health goes to trial in front of the province’s Supreme Court. Day claims waiting for public health care and restricting private, for-profit health care violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Day co-founded Vancouver’s private Cambie Surgery Centre and the Specialist Referral Clinic, both of which have violated B.C.’s medical act by engaging in extra and/or double billing practices.   The Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) will monitor the trial developments and make itself available for commentary, analysis and interviews. The trial is expected to last six months. Although a provincial case, the ruling could potentially have national implications for Canada’s public health care system:

  • overwhelming the public system with serious, chronic or complex cases if physicians in private clinics are allowed to “cherry pick” low risk, paying patients who can be treated quickly with straightforward medical interventions
  • worsening wait times for the majority of Canadians by removing physicians from the public health care system and giving preferential treatment to those who pay for care; and,
  • prioritizing profits over people by allowing physicians to set their own fees in forprofit clinics and private insurers to make money off of publicly-covered care from wealthy citizens ready to pay for care.

Spokespersons include:

  • Adrienne Silnicki, National Coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition
  • Pauline Worsfold, registered nurse and Chair, Canadian Health Coalition
  • Steven Shrybman, public interest lawyer and Partner, Goldblatt Partners LLP

Throughout the course of the trial, the CHC will share stories of real patients in the public health care system. Some will be available for media interviews, arranged via the CHC.


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Canadian Health Coalition