Update January 2015: Although it has not yet been officially stated by the Supreme Court Judge, all indications point to the trial resuming in court on March 2, 2015. We are moving forward with our involvement in the case as Interveners and with our allies across BC and Canada to ensure that health care continues to be public, universal and strenthened.
A message from BC Health Coalition chairs Edith Machattie and Rick Turner (September 2014):
We want to update you on a major development in the battle to defend Canadian public health care against for-profit clinic owner Brian Day’s legal attack.
Yesterday the BC Supreme Court judge granted a request from Brian Day for a 6 month delay of the trial so that he can seek a resolution with the BC government.
There are two possible scenarios here:
The first is that Day is finally abandoning a lawsuit that never had any merit and was no more than a stalling tactic that has allowed him to continue to break public health care law.
Thanks to you, public pressure has been building steadily. Brian Day is feeling the heat, and it’s possible he’s looking for a way out.
If this is the case, we need to build on that momentum and make sure that any settlement between Day and the BC government protects patients and upholds Canadian public health care law.
We have not yet heard Dr. Day make a commitment that his clinics will actually stop unlawfully billing patients. Let’s not forget that a 2012 BC government audit of Day’s Cambie and Specialist Referral clinics revealed that these clinics extra-billed patients $491,654 in roughly a 30 day period.
The other possible scenario is that this postponement is another in a long line of Brian Day’s delay tactics, that he does not actually intend to seek a resolution to the litigation, and the case will go to trial in March 2015 following this postponement.
If that is the case, we’ll be ready. We will continue to defend public health care in court as interveners in the case, and we will continue to work alongside you in communities as advocates for equitable, quality, and timely care.
Regardless of the scenario, Brian Day’s clinics must immediately stop charging patients for services that are covered by the MSP — the province must insist on nothing less.
Check back soon about next steps for what we can do together to make sure that if a resolution to this case is reached, it will be one that protects patients and upholds public health care rules.
With thanks for all you have done to get us this far,
Edith Machattie and Rick Turner
BC Health Coalition co-chairs