Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Health Care Is A Provincial Responsibility Dept: Quebec Drags Its Feet in Going After Medicare Extrabilling, Compared to Ontario

This morning Le Devoir reports that Ontario is going after illegal extra billing for medically necessary services. Last week the McGinty Liberal governments, in pre-electoral mode, announced inquiries into the practice for colonoscopies and cataract treatment, as well as a hot line for complaints about extra billing. This year alone there have been 189 investigations in Ontario, suggesting that charging for everything from valet parking to membership fees is becoming more and more common.

In Quebec, there are 12 on-going investigations, but that doesn't indicate the practice is any less widespread here that in Ontario. Rather, Le Devoir notes, there is no official encouragement to protest extra fees. Patients who pay them may well be too overwhelmed to complain: certainly there is nothing to compare with Ontario's campaign to root out extra billing.

Provinces are responsible for health care in Canada, but the federal government--if it wanted to--could play an important role in stamping out extra billing. It provides part of health care funding and could withhold grants to provinces in the amount of extra billing charged. But do you think that Stephen Harper would go along with that? Not bloody likely.

1 comment:

Guantes De Latex said...

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