17 Jun Press Release: Doctors, Community Members File Complaint against College of Physicians

Halifax, N.S. – Doctors and supporters of public health care held an information picket Tuesday morning at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. Protestors gathered in front of the Bayers Road office to pass out leaflets and to file a formal complaint against the College. The picket was organized by the Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network in response to the College’s recent decision to prepare to regulate private health care.

“As a doctor, I’m deeply concerned by the college’s direction” said Timothy Bood, an emergency room physician and member of the Health Network. “Decades of research has proven for-profit medicine to be less safe; it puts patients at greater risk. No amount of regulation can change that.”

At their annual general meeting, the College announced it would look at ways to regulate private delivery of care as part of their 2 year strategic plan. In an AllNovaScotia.com article, the CEO of the College, Dr. Gus Grant, said that private medicine is “the way of the future” and that it’s not for the college “to say what’s right or wrong.”

James Hutt, Provincial Co-ordinator of the Health Network, disagrees:

“As the regulatory body for doctors in the province, the College’s role is to ensure that physicians uphold the highest standards in their practices. By signing off on private health care, they are approving substandard care, not to mention a deterioration of the public sector.”

Regulation of private health care in other jurisdictions has proven costly and less than effective. The United States has the highest regulated private health sector out of the OECD countries, spending over $169 billion per year. Yet, it stills reports hundreds of billions in fraud and abuse. The United Kingdom and Australia have also experimented with regulation, but consistently report lower health outcomes in private for profit clinics and hospitals.

Even British Columbia, which the College is looking to model its policies after, has struggled with regulation. The province is now embroiled in lengthy lawsuits against private clinics for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraud.

“I’m hopeful that the College will recognize the risk of attempting to regulate private health care, and instead use their influence to continue to ensure the highest quality of care for my patients – which is public health care” said Dr. Bood.

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For further information contact:

James Hutt

Provincial Coordinator

Nova Scotia Citizens’ Health Care Network

Office: 902-406-9422

Cell: 902-222-1186

[email protected]