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Private clinic fees threatening public health, P.E.I. coalition warns

Posted: June 15, 2017

(June 13, 2017)

By: The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – At least 88 private health-care clinics in six provinces charge extra user fees that amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for patients, a new study has found.

The results of the cross-country survey have prompted health coalitions, including P.E.I.’s, to warn that challenges posed by private clinic fees, which are forbidden under the Canadian Health Act, have come to a head.

The P.E.I. Health Coalition says there is a private MRI clinic in Moncton, as well as some private clinics in Nova Scotia

“When we bypass the public health care system and pay for services in those private clinics we are actually lengthening the wait time in the public system,” it says in a news release.

“Provinces need to invest more in the public health care system rather than allowing private, for-profit interests to take over.”

The coalition says it wants to hear from Islanders who have been charged for services in the public system.

The report, “Private Clinics and the Threat to Public Medicare in Canada,” studied 136 private hospital, diagnostic and “boutique” physician clinics and almost 400 individual patients. It’s available online

“As a result of extra charges for health care, patients described running short of rent, using a significant amount of their pension, forgoing groceries and finding themselves unable to buy things for their families,” said Natalie Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition, the report’s author.

“It is unacceptable that patients are manipulated into paying outrageous prices for health care when they have already paid their taxes. Health care should be based on need, not wealth.”
For further information, call the P.E.I. Health Coalition at 902-892-9074 .