A legal challenge that threatens medicare

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A recent op-ed in the Vancouver Sun discusses an "unprecedented legal challenge to Canadian public health care that will put the fundamental Canadian principle of care based on need, not ability to pay, on trial."

The case is being led by Vancouver doctor Brain Day who has come into public view before for unlawfully billing patients for health care services.

According to the Sun commentary by Monika Dutt and Rachel Tutte, "Dr. Day hopes to strike down the rules that prevent a U.S.-style system in Canada, where some people get to pay privately to jump the queue. His claim is that B.C.’s Medicare rules violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

"It is hard to overstate the significance of this challenge," the authors write."If Dr. Day wins, the public system that Canadians rely on — and overwhelmingly support — will be dismantled across the country. We will be left with a system that looks very much like that of the United States — physicians will be permitted to charge patients any amount they like for services, and the rich elite will get care faster than the rest of us."

Read A legal challenge threatening medicare: No evidence that for-profit health care results in better outcomes.