Statement from the Minister of Health on Cambie Surgeries Corporation et al v. British Columbia


September 11, 2020               Ottawa, ON                 Health Canada

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu issued the following statement:

Yesterday’s Supreme Court of British Columbia’s decision in Cambie, which dismissed the constitutional challenge to provisions of British Columbia’s Medicare Protection Act and upheld the ban on patient charges and private insurance, validates our belief that all Canadians deserve universally accessible health care. Access to medically necessary services should be uniformly available to all, based on need rather than ability or willingness to pay. Patient charges—whether they take the form of charges at the point of service or payment for private insurance—undermine equity.

The Government of Canada fully welcomes the Court’s decision and commends the Government of British Columbia for its successful defence of universally accessible health care. This decision validates Canada’s single-payer public health care system and the fundamental principle that access to medically necessary health services should be based on health need and not on the ability or willingness to pay.

We believe that these values are more important than ever as we continue to respond to the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Government of Canada will continue to defend universally accessible health care for all Canadians.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.


Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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