Fair access to public health care for all British Columbians

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In addition to increasing access to surgeries and MRIs, the Government of British Columbia is bringing into force outstanding sections of the Medicare Protection Amendment Act, 2003, to further support patients and strengthen B.C.’s public health-care system.

We are taking action to protect our public health-care system, and to correct the previous government’s failure to enforce the law, something done at the expense of patients.

Extra billing means charging a patient or a representative for health care that should be provided at no cost, because it is covered under the Medical Services Plan (MSP), or publicly funded as a benefit under the Hospital Insurance Act.

The consequences of the failure of the previous government to enforce the law has cost patients millions of dollars. This has to stop,” said Dix.  “We are taking strong action today and will be asking the federal government to restore funding to B.C. in the coming year as a result.”

Sections of the Medicare Protection Amendment Act, 2003 that are coming into force, and new actions that can be taken by the Medical Services Commission, include:

  • Making it an offence to extra bill for services insured under the Medicare Protection Act or the Hospital Insurance Act;
  • Clarifying that selling priority access to medically necessary care is extra billing;
  • Providing new protections for beneficiaries and establishing that they are not liable to pay for extra billing charges;
  • Creating consequences for practitioners, or others, such as privately owned medical clinics, who have extra-billed beneficiaries;
  • Ensuring that all diagnostic facilities, including non-approved diagnostic facilities, cannot charge beneficiaries for diagnostic services if the services would be covered under MSP

Learn more here