Friday, October 21st, 2016

Health Care Going to the Dogs as Alberta Judge Denies Charter Challenge


Residents in Alberta can purchase private health insurance for medical services for their dogs, but it remains a crime to purchase it for themselves or members of their family. On March 31, 2014 an Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench judge dismissed a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge brought forward by patient Darcy Allen. The judge cited a lack of evidence showing how the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act causes a deprivation of the Charter “…right to life, liberty and security of the person…”

In 2009, Darcy Allen was forced to leave the country for timely access to surgery he needed to improve his health and quality of life. Would he have had to leave the country if he were allowed to purchase private health care insurance for medically necessary services in Alberta?

At the court hearing of this case last October, the lawyer for the Alberta Government admitted that the government does not collect information about the pain and suffering of patients on waiting lists for public health care. She also stated that there is no right to benefits from social programs. The Alberta Health Care Insurance Act erects both financial and bureaucratic barriers to medical services. What is a patient to do when access to medical care is based on a government’s ability to pay? What is a patient to do when personal health care choices are left to the discretion of civil servants? Freedom of choice does not exist when there are no alternative options available.

Justice¬†Jeffrey’s denial doesn’t change the fact that in Alberta, much like the rest of Canada, your dog has better access to health care than you do.

Speak Your Mind

I have read, understood, and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy of The Patient Factor website, and I am posting this content in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Terms of Service. I accept full responsibility for any content I post, and hereby consent to the publication of this content and its disclosure to the public on The Patient Factor website.

webdesign by Linda Caroll Copyright © 2009 Chapman Communication Sitemap / Privacy / Terms of Use
Canadian Health Care; News, Views and Commentary