For-profit health care companies are making a profit from patients through unlawful extra-billing. Now is the time to let them know our health is not their profit.
The privatization of health care services in BC has expanded over the last six years. In 2020-2021 alone, for-profit health care companies broke the law by taking $23 million from BC residents by extra-billing them for health care services already covered by the public Medical Services Plan.
Unlawful extra-billing increases inequities in access to care as people who have the means to pay out of pocket jump the queue, depriving timely access to those who are in most urgent need of care. It leads to longer wait times as financial and human resources are drained from the public system.
It also impacts British Columbians as taxpayers. The federal government provides health care funding to the provinces and territories through the Canada Health Transfer, withholding this funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis based on the amount of extra-billing in a province. Between 2016 and 2020, the federal government withheld $83.3 million from BC. This is money taken away from every BC taxpayer by for-profit health care companies breaking the law.
Instead, BC could be using the $83.3 million to improve our public health care system through public innovations and addressing the primary care access crisis through the development of community health centres that can provide longitudinal, team-based care.
Please sign the pledge below if you support the BC government enforcing the law by holding for-profit health care companies accountable. Our health is not for their profit.
BC must take action to:
- Proactively enforce the laws against extra-billing in BC’s Medicare Protection Act
- Bring into effect provisions in BC’s Medicare Protection Act against extra-billing in diagnostic services
- Strengthen reporting requirements without leaving the burden of reporting on patients
- Increase monitoring and auditing of for-profit health care companies
- Ensure public dollars are not used to subsidize private profits