B.C. anesthesiologists ask to join private health-care case
A group of B.C. anesthesiologists are asking to join a constitutional challenge of the province's ban on private health care.
The British Columbia Anesthesiologists' Society has filed an affidavit with the B.C. Supreme Court asking to intervene in a case launched by a controversial private clinic operator in Vancouver.
The society says it wants to argue in court that the public health-care system is failing patients, particularly when it comes to surgical wait times.
The society's executive director, Dr. Roland Orfaly, says his group isn't taking a position on whether there should be more private care, but says whatever happens the public system needs to be fixed.
Orfaly says the public system isn't meeting the needs of patients, and he accuses the government of manipulating wait-times data in the media to paint a more favourable picture.
In July, the B.C. Medical Services Commission ordered the Cambie Surgery Centre and the Specialist Referral Clinic to stop charging patients for publicly insured medical services. The clinics then launched a legal challenge of the province's health care laws.
The B.C. Anesthesiologists' Society, which represents some, but not all, of the province's anesthesiologists, has been in a long-standing labour dispute with the province that has focused on staffing levels and pay.