November 27, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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Vincent Maricel’s dilemma: Should the $35,000 surgery be done privately or continue to wait for the public?

An orthopedist paid by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) does not hesitate to solicit patients for his private clinic, a practice undertaken by some physicians who find a more profitable way to practice their profession in an environment. Waiting lists are endless on public networks.

In an interview with QUB Radio, Rosemont’s deputy for Quebec solidaires, Vincent Marisal, said he recently experienced this situation. “My orthopedist’s secretary offered to do the operation at a private clinic in early December. The catch is that the bill will be $35,000. The price that he describes as special, because I have to change both hips,” he mentioned into the microphone of Benoit Dudrysak.

Currently, Mr. Marisal walks around with a cane, his condition prevents him from living a normal life, but like many in his situation, he has been patient for a year now. If he refuses surgery at a private clinic for more than $30,000, he will have to endure his pain for at least six months until his orthopedist returns to the public system.

“This is unacceptable. I have the luxury of waiting. I can go about my work. But a trucker who can no longer work, he chooses to pay. He has no choice,” said Mr Marisal.

Temporary dismissal of doctors is not a new phenomenon. But this example raises an obvious ethical question, according to the member for Rosemont. He wonders how many doctors take advantage of their situation to build a bank of clients who can then act privately.

“Ultimately, the government is fine with this situation because it helps reduce the waiting list,” the Rosemont MP said. According to Vincent Maricel, this may explain the government’s silence. According to him, one might wonder if the consultancy paid by RAMQ only serves to boost the client list of certain doctors. “Most profitable customers.”

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“I refuse to go private for a matter of policy. It’s a way to pass in front of everyone else. I believe in the public system a lot,” he said, adding that if someone decides to go private, their name will not be on the waiting list, which makes the government happy.

For now, Mr. Not for Maricel. He said he had every intention of asking questions of Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubey.

The College of Physicians and Federation of Medical Professionals declined our interview request.

– In collaboration with André-Sylvain Latour