Seymour Health Centre given $7 million contract by Vancouver Coastal Health to operate care centre
May 23, 2019 By:  Graeme Wood

[Excerpt] The privatization of a new health clinic by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is “deeply concerning on a number of levels,” according to government policy analyst Alex Hemingway of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

A $7 million contract provided by the health authority to for-profit company Seymour Health Centre to operate the recently opened City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre is unlikely to produce better care – while costing more money in the long term, contends a report from Hemingway.

Furthermore, Hemingway sees the VCH model as being a Trojan Horse of sorts for a more powerful private medical lobbying industry in B.C.

“Canada’s largely private (and highly inefficient) system of pharmaceutical drug coverage is a prime example of this lobbying power in action, as is the privatized and staggeringly inefficient U.S. health care system,” said Hemingway.

The idea of a UPCC is to alleviate emergency rooms from patients in need of non-emergency medical care, such as treatment for minor wounds, fever or dehydration.

And, last November, B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix touted UPCCs as able to “better connect local residents with the primary care they need.”

Dix didn’t respond to Glacier Media’s request for comment on Hemingway’s report.

Hemingway raised the fact the health authority spent $2 million on facility upgrades in addition to the centre’s lease payments through to April 1, 2020.

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