An injunction application has been filed to the BC Supreme Court by the Medical Service Commission, after an investigation into Telus Health’s LifePlus Program.
The commission is responsible for ensuring all B.C. residents have reasonable access to medical care and for managing the provision and payment of medical care.
Telus Health’s LifePlus program says it gives members access to a “dedicated team of professionals from different disciplines, ready to give you unhurried, on-time care all year round.”
In a statement today, health minister Adrian Dix said he directed the commission earlier this year to review Telus Health after complaints made by the public of extra billing.
“I understand today the commission applied to the British Columbia Supreme Court for an injunction against Telus Health, in particular, Telus’s LifePlus program, alleging contraventions of the Medicare Protection Act,” said Dix.
Dix said in a news conference Thursday the commission’s injunction relates to membership fees charged by the Telus LifePlus program.
Dix adds it is important to uphold the Medicare Protection Act to keep the province’s publicly managed healthcare system.
“Access to necessary medical care should be based on need and not an individual’s ability to pay,” said Dix.
“That is why we introduced provisions to the act in 2018 that included new protections for patients to prevent extra billing, clarified rules around extra billing for medical practitioners and established consequences for those who break the rules.”
Dix did not elaborate on any particular remedy for the extra billing.
The B.C. Greens say they have been calling for a review of Telus Health since February.
They feel the BC NDP should have been creating community health centres across the province while the investigation was being done to ensure everyone in B.C. has access to primary care.