News Release Archive

  The Province of Nova Scotia will not pay the facility fees
  that private medical clinics charge their clients.
  "We don't believe that forcing provinces to pay for such
  fees is the best course of action," said Health Minister Ron
  Stewart. "However, we are very interested in working with
  the federal health  minister, in conjunction with other
  provinces, to find a better solution."
  Currently the province pays the physician fees for
  procedures performed at two private clinics in Halifax. The
  clinics then charge their clients a facility fee for
  performing the procedure. For the time being, this system
  will remain unchanged. The procedures, abortions and the
  treatment of port wine stains at a dermatology clinic, are
  available through the publicly-funded health system.
  Health Canada has said it will start to calculate reductions
  in transfer payments if provinces don't comply with the
  federal policy on facility fee charging at private clinics.
  The deadline for complying with the federal policy was Oct.
  15. If transfer payments to Nova Scotia are reduced, the
  province would lose about $130,000.
  Nova Scotia's decision is the best means of ensuring health
  care in the province remains publicly funded and accessible
  to all, Dr. Stewart said. "If the province agreed to pay the
  facility fees, it would open the door for many private
  clinics, creating wasteful duplication. Nova Scotians have
  already paid for these services in the public system," he
  "The best way to preserve a single-tier, publicly-funded
  system, which is open and accessible to all, is to resist
  funding these facilities," Dr. Stewart said. "The
  unregulated spread of private clinics could become
  financially unsustainable, inefficient in terms of public
  spending and could pose a significant risk to the health and
  health care of Nova Scotians."
  Nova Scotia's decision adheres to the principles of the
  Canada Health Act, the minister said.
  Private clinics are well established in other provinces and
  paying for facility fees could trigger a similar expansion
  of private clinics in Nova Scotia, Dr. Stewart said.
  Contact: Lori MacLean  902-424-5025
  NOTE TO EDITORS: Backgrounder available by calling
  trp                     Oct. 24, 1995