As the provincial government cracks down on extra billing by doctors the leader of the opposition says they are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson says the NDP are using a decades old story to pitch themselves as saviours or the public health care system while avoiding questions about capacity.
“If they get rid of capacity in the private clinics with things like MRIs where are people going to go for these services? There is a big confusion with doctors and clinics that have completely opted out of MSP, which they can do what ever they want to. That is lawful in Canada. And those who are double billing, which is inappropriate and illegal. So the NDP are dressing this all up as one big issue.”
Wilkinson says the challenge is to ensure prompt care within the public health system while also allowing people the option of availing themselves of private care for needs that are not considered urgent.
“When somebody is waiting for an MRI for a year they say well I wish I could just pay a few hundred bucks and get this done on my own next week. That is what has been set up in British Columbia for more than a decade now. Clinics that are truly private that are outside of the medical services plan can go ahead and do that. If you shut all of that down then where are these MRIs going to get done?”
Premier John Horgan says his government is just putting enforcement teeth to existing legislation making extra billing by doctors illegal.