Incidental charges: Ottawa must enforce the Canada Health Act

MONTREAL, Jan. 21, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec Medical Association (QMA) called on the federal Health Minister, Dr. Jane Philpott, who is currently meeting with her provincial counterparts, to have the federal government put an end to this measure, which creates further inequity in access to health care. The QMA remains opposed to the Québec government upholding incidental charges and continues to decry the imbalance it is creating.

The QMA, along with the Regroupement des médecins omnipraticiens pour une médecine engagée, the Collège québécois des médecins de famille and Médecins québécois pour le régime public, sent a letter to the Minister last December, inviting her to discuss this problematic issue before today's meeting. Taken together, these organizations represent more than 10,000 physicians throughout Québec.

A threat to universal access

Implementation of this co-pay system for medically necessary services flouts the principles to which Quebecers have been entitled since universal health care was created. This system formally entrenches the deterioration of healthcare coverage at the expense of citizens who must follow the user-pay principle, and ignores the Canada Health Act, which stipulates that any medically necessary procedure must be covered by the public plan. As early as November 13 of last year, the QMA was asking Ottawa to intervene and enforce the Canada Health Act.

"The QMA decries this rollback in coverage for medically necessary procedures," declared QMA President Dr. Yun Jen. "As far as non-compliance with the Canada Health Act – which does not allow incidental charges – the federal government is responsible for intervening in Quebec City to eliminate this barrier to the universal accessibility of medically necessary health care."

About the QMA

The Québec Medical Association comprises some 10,000 general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students. Its mission is to bring all members of the Québec medical community together in a context that promotes reflection and action in the best interests of Quebecers' health.


SOURCE Quebec Medical Association

For further information: Denise Pelletier, Director of Communications and Marketing, Québec Medical Association, Phone: 514 866-0660, Email:


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