Friday, September 21, 2007

Another Ontario Lawsuit Challenges Universal Health Care

This Ontario Superior Court action was reported in the National Review of Medicine:

Ontario's single-payer healthcare system is on trial.

A new lawsuit, filed in Ontario Superior Court by two brain-tumour patients on September 5, alleges Ontario's injunction against private healthcare violates the right to life, liberty and security of the person, as guaranteed under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"If Ontario is not going to provide timely care in the public system it must not prohibit people from using their own resources to get care," says their lawyer, Avril Allen.

Using precedent established by the Supreme Court of Canada's controversial 2005 decision in Chaoulli v Quebec, the lawsuit challenges Ontario's laws against direct billing by physicians, private health insurance and facility fees for patients using MRI clinics. "Ontario has the most draconian prohibitions and penalties," says Ms Allen. In all other provinces, doctors can elect to opt out of medicare. "Our goal is to have the prohibitions invalidated. [Then] companies could start offering private health insurance, doctors could go out and start billing patients directly, and it could be the beginning of a private healthcare system.

Read On...

This case follows our September 9 update, Universal Health Care Challenged in Ontario Court, on another lawsuit commenced recently that seeks to change the way our health care system operates.

In both cases, Plaintiffs ask the Court to allow private, direct-fee clinics to operate and opt out of Ontario's public medicare system.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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