Private BC clinic to reopen
The False Creek Urgent Care Centre, which was criticized by some as a direct assault on Canada's public health-care system, agreed to stop admitting B.C. patients within days of its opening last December. Now, after obtaining legal advice and rounding up a roster of out-of-province doctors, the clinic is on stronger legal footing, Chris Freimond said.
And Health Minister George Abbott said this time it appears the private clinic is operating within the law.
The Canada Health Act and the province's Medicare Protection Act prohibit doctors or clinics from billing patients for medically necessary services that are covered by publicly funded medicare.
To get around this legal barrier, Dr. Godley has recruited a team of emergency physicians from outside the province, Mr. Freimond said.
Mr. Abbott said if the clinic hires doctors from outside the B.C. Medical Services Plan, then no laws are being broached.
Mr. Abbott said he was told the clinic has hired two doctors from Alberta and one from Manitoba.By bringing doctors from out of province, Dr. Godley said the clinic will not be raiding the public system. He added that the clinic will relieve pressure on hospital emergency rooms and help reduce waiting times.
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