Doctors charging both government and patients privately – double-dipping

Rosalia Guthrie is still astounded that it cost her $4,350 to get her shoulder injury assessed by a surgeon who works in Canada’s public health-care system.

She had been waiting in agony for 16 months to see Dr. William Regan when she called his office, asking how much longer it would be. His secretary gave her the number of another clinic to call – so she did. That’s when Ms. Guthrie learned there was another way in to see the surgeon – with no lineup.

But it would cost her. “The woman there called me back … and gave me three [appointment] times … right away,” says Ms. Guthrie, 67, of Salmon Arm, B.C., who was told that she had reached Dr. Regan’s other, private clinic. “Then she said, ‘You have to pay.’”



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