Should patients be able to pay for private health care to avoid wait times? B.C. Appeal Court set to weigh in – CBC

Dr. Brian Day lost case at lower court after arguing patients have the right to pay for private care

Jul 14, 2022

B.C.’s highest court is set to rule this week in an appeal of a landmark decision on a challenge to public health care.

On Friday morning, the B.C. Court of Appeal will release its judgment on the constitutional challenge launched by private health-care advocate Dr. Brian Day, the owner of Vancouver’s Cambie Surgery Centre.

Day is appealing a 2020 B.C. Supreme Court decision dismissing his claims that patients have the charter right to pay for private care when wait times in the public system are too long.

Justice John J. Steeves found that while some patients are not receiving care in a timely manner, in violation of their right to security of the person, B.C.’s limits on private health care are justified under the principles of fundamental justice.

In reasons for judgment that run more than 800 pages, the judge said the legislation Day objects to is meant “to preserve and ensure the sustainability of a universal public health-care system that ensures access to necessary medical care is based on need and not on an individual’s ability to pay.”

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