Boutique Private for Profit Clinics causing more problems to Alberta's Health Care System

In light of what has been revealed in the Preferential-Access Inquiry, Friends of Medicare is calling on the Alberta and Federal Government to take immediate action to ensure compliance with the Canada Health Act.

"It is a shame when most Albertans have long wait times to receive treatment and services while patients who can afford it get access to services based on their ability to pay.  This is clearly a blatant violation of the Canada Health Act, and the government needs to respond," said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

"The 'membership' fees being charged by these for- profit clinics are unaffordable for the vast majority of Albertans. We cannot afford to stand by and watch our health care system slowly transform into a two tier-system," warned Azocar.  "We want to see an expansion and improvement of our public health care, but by draining our system of our already scarce human resources we are not helping improve wait times and access to services."

Today Friends of Medicare has filed a formal complaint with the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons requesting an investigation of the actions of the physicians attached to Helios Wellness Center.  As well we are requesting that the Provincial and Federal Governments take immediate action to ensure that all private clinics that have been allowed to set up business in our Province are not in direct or indirect contravention of the Canada Health Act.

"We are encouraged by Minister Horne's concerns regarding the allegations that have surfaced, and we are looking forward to his timely action in ensuring that all Albertans have access to our health care services based on need and not on their ability to pay. The best solutions involve increasing both efficiencies and capacity within the public health care system," concluded Azocar.

- 30 -