B.C. Supreme Court rules against legalizing private healthcare in landmark case

The B.C. Supreme court has ruled against legalizing private healthcare in a years-long case that will likely have implications across Canada’s health-care system.

The 880-page decision was handed down Thursday following a three-and-a-half-year trial, which involved more than 100 witnesses.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against B.C.’s government over whether patients should have the right to pay for private care if the wait in the public system is too long.

1:44 B.C. doctor argues in court for privatized healthcare in the Canadian medical system

B.C. doctor argues in court for privatized healthcare in the Canadian medical system

Day, an orthopedic surgeon who opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver in 1996, has said that everyone should have the right to pay to get care sooner, because if they are forced to wait, it can make their health problems potentially worse.

He has been criticized for trying to fundamentally change the country’s health-care system, but Day has argued the restriction violates patients’ constitutional rights.

2:33 Day 2 of Dr. Brian Day’s landmark court case

Day 2 of Dr. Brian Day’s landmark court case

Read more: Vancouver surgeon challenging B.C.’s ban on private insurance

Day launched the lawsuit in 2010.

For years, opponents argued that making space for private care flies in the face of the core Canadian value that people should have access to medical care based on need, not on ability to pay.

More to come. 

– with files from The Canadian Press

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