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Independent clinics launch lawsuit based on Charter

A new attack on public healthcare was launched yesterday in the Supreme Court of BC.

But the Canadian Independent Medical Clinics Association calls it “Saving Medicare.”

According to a news release on the CIMCA website:

The Canadian Independent Medical Clinics Association (CIMCA) along with a group of independent BC medical clinics, today launched a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of B.C. to have legal restrictions on access to independent clinics struck down because they deprive patients of rights guaranteed by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Chaoulli case was clear - access delayed is access denied. Patients are suffering and dying as a result of waiting for care in B.C.,” said Dr. Brian Day, Medical Director of the Cambie Surgery Centre, one of the independent clinics launching the suit. CIMCA is going to court to ensure that B.C. laws are modified to conform to the laws of Canada, as set forth by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The CIMCA challenge argues that sections of B.C.’s Medicare Protection Act effectively force patients to remain on unacceptably long wait lists, no matter what the degree of pain, suffering or disability they are experiencing.

CIMCA’s own website seems to have been in a coma before this latest news release. The site’s previous releases include none in 2008, one in 2007, and five in 2006.

Stories in the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun are covering the lawsuit and responses to it.

The Cambie Surgery Centre, a “proud member of CIMCA,” isn’t up to speed on the case it’s now involved in. Its news section hasn’t seen an update since August 2004. But the head of the Centre, Dr. Brian Day, is well known to Tyee readers.

As for the text on its home page, The Hook would like to refer the Centre to a good punctuation expert at the Editors’ Association of Canada.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee, and a proud member of the English Inquisition, which no one expects.

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