Clinic opens doors to protests
Published Monday, September 22, 2008 6:54PM MDT
A new medical clinic that opened in Calgary is sparking another debate about healthcare.
The Copeman Clinic opened on Monday to a wave of protest because it offers a number of levels of service at different costs. The most comprehensive is $3,900 for the first year and $2,900 for each year after.
"We feel it's a violation of not only the Canada Health Act but, you know, the wrong way to go to help deal with the health care problems here in the city," says David Eggen from Friends of Medicare, the organization that planned Monday's protest.
Copeman clinics already operate in British Columbia. In that province, an audit by the B.C. medical services commission found that there were no Health Act violations because patients only pay for services like nutritionists and kinesiologists.
Dr. Don Copeman went to Monday's protest to address concerns about his practice. Copeman says his experience with the public system led him to try something new. "Two years ago, my autistic son waited to be seen by the public system and it was misdiagnosed at the font lines."
Copeman says much of the anger towards his clinics is misplaced. He says the root of the emotions is more about the failure of the health care system than about the basic principles he operates his clinics on.
Alberta's health minister says the Copeman Clinic falls completely within the acceptable legal guidelines of the Health Act.