Canada's private health-care firm Copeman Healthcare has announced its intentions of establishing its presence in Ontario and other prominent cities in the country by the year 2007. The Health Minister of the Province has said that large fines will be imposed on the organization if any legislation is contravened. It has been opined that the move of Copeman Healthcare will contribute towards belittling the public health system, and more attention will be given to the wealthy patients.
New clinics are planned to be opened by Copeman Healthcare in places like Ottawa, Toronto, and London, Ont., in the 2006 summer, while more clinics will be established in Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Montreal, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Victoria by 2007. Copeman Healthcare will offer its services for an annual fee of $2,300 and an enrolment fee of $1,200, which will also include the services of specialists in departments like oncology, gynecology, neurology, oncology, cardiology, urology, orthopedics, sports injury, gynecology, and pain management.
Vancouver has already witnessed the opening of a private clinic by the organization, which asserts that a crisis with regard to primary care needed to be averted in the country, and the overall healthcare system has to be sustained. George Smitherman, the Ontario Health Minister has contended that he requires more details from the company before he endorses the plans. The initiation fee which is being levied by the firm contravenes the provincial legislation, according to him.
The guidelines prescribed by the Canada Health Act are being rigidly followed, according to Copeman, and the public system will face a lesser burden as a result of the private clinics. The Ontario clinics will have as many as eight physicians each, and will accept a maximum of 4,000 patients only, which will fetch an amount of $ 9.2 million annually. The fear that doctors will be drawn away from the public system to the private sector appears to be strong. High-end tests like CT scans and MRIs will however be referred elsewhere. The Vancouver establishment of Copeman is reported to be doing very well, in spite of no investments being made towards advertising.