The study finds that the spread of private clinics has caused extensive violations of medicare rights, and heightened inequalities in access to health care among Canadians.
Major findings include:
- 130 for-profit surgical, MRI and corporate physician clinics across Canada.
- For-profit clinics exist in all provinces but Prince Edward Island;
- Extra-billing, user fees and queue-jumping have contributed to medicare rights violations. Researchers found 89 suspected violations of the Canada Health Act
- For-profit clinics are siphoning doctors, nurses and other health care workers away from the public system
- Some physicians are enticing patients to their private practice with the promise of shorter waits
- Prices are out-of-reach for the vast majority: MRIs are sold for $600 - $1,200, knee surgery for upwards of $20,000
- For-profit clinics “cream skim” patients with easy-to-treat conditions, leaving higher-cost patients to the public system
- Most provinces have turned a blind eye to for-profit clinics, while the federal government has failed to penalize them for violations under the Canada Health Act.
Yourmedicarerights.ca has launched an online action asking Canada’s party leaders how they plan to defend public health care against private clinics.