In support of the crackdown on private clinics

A letter to the editor by Jay Chalkman

To the editor,

I support public healthcare and the B.C. government’s crackdown on private clinics and unlawful private fees in order to protect patients.

The B.C. government’s recent announcement about protecting patients and public funds from unlawful billing in private, for-profit clinics is great news and a long-time coming.

B.C. has the second highest rate of unlawful medical billing in the country and for years the province refused to step in to protect patients.

B.C. allowed surgical and diagnostic waitlists to grow while enabling a market for private, for-profit clinics that charge patients steep unlawful private fees to flourish.

A 2017 report by the Ontario Health Coalition shows that as many as 30 of B.C.’s 34 private medical and diagnostic clinics are charging patients unlawful private fees for medically-necessary care that is supposed to be provided with no direct fee to patients.

These private fees are often up to five times more than those in the public system.

B.C. needs affordable health care for its citizens.

This is a step in the right direction.

We also do not need a two-tier system where the wealthy get preferred health care.

Health care is a universal right!

Jay Chalkman

Langley

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