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The Ontario Health Coalition is calling on the health minister to stop a two-tier clinic from siphoning doctors and nurses out of the public health system to serve wealthy queue-jumpers.

The “Health for Life” clinic opened Dec. 12. The clinic charges an initial fee of $2,500 and $2,000 each subsequent year for enhanced health services. Marketing for such “boutique” medicine clinics is generally targeted to those who are known as the “wealthy well” or the “worried wealthy”.

“In our view, even at this stage, the company’s advertising appears to violate Ontario’s Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act by offering preferential access to insured health care services,” said Ross Sutherland, RN, Kingston Health Coalition co chair.

“In addition, the Canada Health Act requires the province to provide equal access to medically necessary health care. If violations are found the clinic risks fines under Ontario law and the province risks cuts to its transfers from the federal government under the Canada Health Act. Any physicians that sell two-tier services risk fines and discipline for professional misconduct.”

“We believe that this situation is unethical, unlawful and destructive, and we are asking the McGuinty government to act immediately to stop it, ” he added.

Read more about the coalition’s challenge.