By Andrew Rankin, Metro Halifax
George Murphy, owner of HealthView Medical Imaging, says legislation unveiled by the province Thursday is wrong headed and too simplistic.
© Metro file
Health Minister David Wilson
[HALIFAX, NS] — The owner of a Halifax MRI clinic says legislation unveiled by the province Thursday is aimed at weakening private healthcare in Nova Scotia and is wrong headed and too simplistic.
“The department of health sees us as competition where they should see us as complementary to the public health care system,” said George Murphy, owner of HealthView Medical Imaging. “There isn’t enough money in the public health care system to provide the quality of care that could be provided if better resourced.”
Health Minister David Wilson introduced legislation earlier in the day that would prohibit queue jumping, extra billing and user fees; though he said those issues aren’t a problem.
Wilson said the legislation would help ensure people who received a diagnostic test from a private practice like Murphy’s wouldn’t get preferential treatment, though, Wilson said exceptions could be made in emergency situations.
Murphy said his clinic receives about 75 patients a week from across the Atlantic provinces, all of whom, he said, are covered by a third party such as Workers’ Compensation Board.
Murphy said none of the patients he sees should get preferential treatment in the public healthcare system. But he said he offers a valuable service by quickly diagnosing ailments and directing patients to the right treatment or specialist.
“The people who come here are much better informed and they end up getting better outcomes. The fact that they don’t get ahead of anyone to see a specialist doesn’t mean they won't do better.
Wilson said the proposed amendments would also eliminate reimbursements for services provided outside the province’s health insurance plan. He said the move is intended to prevent potential problems rather than stamp out any shortcomings in the health system.
With files from The Canadian Press