The operators of a new private emergency clinic in Vancouver are cutting back, complaining it can't afford to treat people for the standard fee it gets from the province's Medical Services Plan.
The False Creek Urgent Care Centre had struck a deal with the provincial government last month, agreeing to take patients with a B.C. Care Card.
But a spokeswoman for the clinic said they have now decided not to accept those patients, because the province pays only $35 per patient visit.
Sherry Wiebe says that's far less than the $199 the clinic would like to charge for a basic evaluation, plus other costs, including $50 for X-rays and $70 for an arm cast.
"We haven't resolved our talks with the government at this stage, and we're just not able to take MSP patients, simply because we're not able to subsidize the public system any longer."
Wiebe said the clinic will only accept people covered by workers' compensation, and those from outside the country.
The clinic had originally planned to charge patients a $199 fee. But that was shelved after the government warned the operators that would violate the Canada Health Act
The government and the clinic's owner then struck a deal, which would see taxpayers pay for some of the care provided at the private clinic.
It was the first deal of its kind in the country. The NDP and public health-care advocates spoke out against it, arguing that taxpayer dollars shouldn't fund care at private clinics.