New, private surgery clinic emerges in British Columbia
A new $5 million “private-pay” surgical centre has opened for business
in Abbotsford, B.C., offering three operating rooms and the latest in
technological medical equipment.
While the centre has received some criticism by opponents of privately
delivered healthcare, clinic owner Dr. John Blaylock told the Abbotsford
News that the public system is failing patients by requiring excessively
long surgical wait times.
It’s the failure of Canada’s healthcare system that is driving the need
for “consumer-driven” medical care, Dr. Blaylock said.
On the other hand, critics say the growing number of private-pay
surgical centres in B.C. is an alarming trend because it fosters a
two-tier healthcare system where only the affluent will be able to
afford timely surgeries.
The other problem, said NDP health critic David Cubberley, is that
highly skilled doctors and nurses are being drawn to private clinics,
thereby weakening the public system even further.
For his part, Dr. Blaylock said it’s important to note that the centre
is fulfilling an important medical need.
“Patients who can afford to pay for their own surgery are going to find
this an attractive alternative to the long, unacceptable surgical waits
lists in the public healthcare system,” he said.
The new 7,000-square-foot Blaylock Surgical Centre and Valley Laser Eye
Centre is said to provide superior equipment, ambience and comfort.
A team of about 30 surgeons will be available at the centre on a
part-time basis to perform various general surgeries, hernia repairs,
cataract, orthopedic, dental and plastic surgeries, Dr. Blaylock said.
In addition to the team of part-time surgeons, the centre will have a
permanent staff of about 12 people, including an anesthesiologist, an OR
technician, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Dr. Blaylock envisions the facility will expand to perform hip and knee
surgeries in the near future.