‘Jumping the queue’ is meaningless term

Re: “Private clinics can continue to bill for MRI imaging until April, Dix says,” Sept. 12.

Among other private-clinic charges, billings for “medically necessary” MRI scans from private clinics were to be prohibited when the Medicare Protection Act comes into effect on Oct. 1.

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Private-clinic billing for “medically necessary” diagnostic services has been “generously” extended for MRI scans until April 1, 2019, because the inefficient public system has one of its customary backlogs.

But, since backlogs are common in the public system, why not promote the use of private clinics in a parallel system? This is impossible, as explained by Health Minister Adrian Dix, as it would involve “jumping the queue.”

Nonsense. In 2013, when in Nova Scotia, I suffered a transient ischemic attack. When I returned to B.C., I paid for an MRI (confirming a minor stroke) in a private clinic.

What queue did I jump? I was never in the public queue. I was in my own queue, freed up a potential space in the public queue and saved the B.C. taxpayer the cost of an MRI scan in the public system.

“Jumping the queue” is just a political vote-getting phrase.

 

M.R. Barr

Victoria

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