Seniors sue for an end to extra medical fees
A seniors' rights group in Quebec has joined with several doctors' groups to file a lawsuit against the federal government.
They are urging Ottawa to take action against Quebec, and force the province to prevent doctors from charging patients extra fees.
Jean-Pierre Menard, a doctor who handles many health cases, is representing FADOQ in the case.
He said that Quebec has so far ignored petitions, protests, and discussion when it comes to reining in user fees.
Menard also said that Quebec's government doesn't even admit fees are charged when filing paperwork with the federal government.
"Every year all the provinces are obliged to report, to send some data to the federal government," said Menard.
"In 2014, the last report, Quebec answered that there was no extra billing at all in Quebec."
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said he found it unusual to proceed with a lawsuit because he has been working on this issue for years, and expects the user fees to be cut off in the months to come.
"I am surprised they took this action because even going this way there will be negotiations with the feds that will take time. Bill 20, Article 32, clearly states they will eliminate user fees," said Barrette.
In a written statement FADOQ said Barrette should use the powers granted under Bill 20 to end doctors' fees immediately.
Barrette said he expected negotiations regarding doctors' fees would be wrapped up by the end of the summer.