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Friday, January 30, 2009

CIMCA challenges legal ban on access to independent clinics

Here's a press release from the Canadian Independent Medical Clinics Association:

The Canadian Independent Medical Clinics Association (CIMCA) along with a group of independent BC medical clinics, today launched a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of B.C. to have legal restrictions on access to independent clinics struck down because they deprive patients of rights guaranteed by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"The Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Chaoulli case was clear - access delayed is access denied. Patients are suffering and dying as a result of waiting for care in B.C.," said Dr. Brian Day, Medical Director of the Cambie Surgery Centre, one of the independent clinics launching the suit. CIMCA is going to court to ensure that B.C. laws are modified to conform to the laws of Canada, as set forth by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The CIMCA challenge argues that sections of B.C.'s Medicare Protection Act effectively force patients to remain on unacceptably long wait lists, no matter what the degree of pain, suffering or disability they are experiencing.

The Medical Services Commission, the Minister of Health Services, and the Attorney General of British Columbia are all named as defendants in the action.

"The crux of the problem is this - if the public health care system cannot provide care to patients in a timely manner, then it is simply wrong to throw up road blocks to patients seeking the health care they need," Dr. Day added. "The Supreme Court of Canada has stated this in no uncertain terms, and we intend to ensure that B.C. provincial law complies with the laws of Canada. Patients in British Columbia should not have their constitutional rights overridden by Draconian laws that deny them access to care."

CIMCA is a non-profit organization that represents medical clinics, patients, health care workers and their advocates and supporters. Its mission is to promote improved access to high quality, timely health care for all Canadians.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on January 30, 2009 in Health care reform | Permalink


I have a message for the First nations in this country.
Instead of dealing in contraband cigarettes, why don't they take advantage of their so called nationhood and Open Medical Clinics on their territory.
I suspect that would be something non natives would fully support and be a real money maker for the First nations to boot.
What about it Phil Fontaine, stop your whining and do something non natives would honour you for.

Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2009-01-30 8:00:14 AM

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