Thursday, 17 March 2011

Beware of More Health Care Charges in Quebec's Budget

Charging $200 for eye drops that cost less than a dollar but which are needed in certain kinds of opthamalogic exams should not be allowed, yet for the last little while that's what has been happening in Quebec.

Doctors' organizations in the province have asked for a clarification on the rules on what is allowed un the Quebec Health Act. Supposedly all medically necessary health care is covered by the provincial health insurance plan, but some doctors have been profitting from the gray area, which allows some charges related to diagnostic procedures.

Rulings would be good, but the problem is that instead of simply saying they are contrary to the spirit of the legislation setting up the health system, the government may give them a green light.

Finance Minister Raymond Bachand is bringing down his budget this afternoon, and its quite possible that he will try to sneak in more health care user charges: last year he succeeded in getting a flat head tax, but was soundly rebuffed when he tried institute per-visit charges. Stay tuned...

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