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Are Patient Wait Times Making You Impatient? You Have Options.

You may have recently seen this in the news. In September 2020, a private Vancouver clinic lost its constitutional challenge of public healthcare rules that prohibit doctors from billing the government for work they do in the public system while also billing patients or their insurance companies for services they render in private clinics. Doctor Brian Day, owner of the Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, launched the lawsuit against the B.C. government in 2009, arguing that the province's healthcare system denies patients the right to timely care, and that prolonged wait times for medical procedures violated two charter rights, including the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice John J. Steeves agreed that surgical patients are not receiving care in a timely manner, and that these lengthy wait times result in both prolonged pain and suffering for the patient. Nevertheless, Steeves ruled against Day, noting that B.C.'s Medicare Protection Act is focused on medically necessary care, not the ability to pay. Day’s decade-long challenge was dismissed [1]. The matter will likely continue in the Supreme Court of Canada, but in the meanwhile, concerns over wait times are escalating in B.C. and across Canada where waiting periods continue to increase year after year.

For the most part, your Provincial healthcare system successfully meets your needs when it comes to urgent care, but patients can sometimes find themselves on wait lists for less critical, yet medically necessary treatments. The Fraser Institute reports annually on Canadian healthcare wait times, which have increased more than 100% in the last 25 years [2].  

There are options for Canadians. One of those is private international medical insurance. This type of insurance is designed to help Canadians gain rapid access to healthcare from anywhere in the world. Worldwide health coverage and VIP medical service (that’s right, no waiting times) are available and can save you and your family a great deal of stress and time – stress that you don’t need and time that can be crucial to treatment and recovery.

If wait times and quality care are a concern for you, consider learning more about private medical insurance.


[1] CBC. Private Vancouver Clinic Loses Constitutional Challenge of Public Health-Care Rules. CBC News. September 10, 2020.

[2] Barua, Bacchus and Moir, Mackenzie. Waiting Your Turn, Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2019 Report. Fraser Institute. 2020.