When the health reform cure is worse than the disease

Major decisions about how Canada’s health-care system operates could be decided by our courts - not democratically elected parliamentarians.

A Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge is underway in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Brian Day, medical director of the Cambie Surgical Centre, is arguing that the laws prohibiting Canadian doctors from practising in the public and private health sectors simultaneously should be struck down, along with the prohibition on extra billing for services already covered by the provincial health plan.

In B.C., the Mount Saint Joseph Hospital cataract and corneal transplant unit employed production-line efficiency and shared patient lists to reduce wait times from 12 to 16 weeks to eight weeks. Likewise, Richmond Hospital’s Hip and Knee Reconstruction Project used staggered operating start times and standardization to reduce wait times from 20 to five months. The Alberta Bone and Joint Institute reduced wait times from 11 months to nine weeks for hip and knee surgery by centralizing intake systems and reducing hospital stays.

Monika Dutt reports

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