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Health minister weighs in on for-profit health-care clinics in Nova Scotia

Michelle Thompson says province has no oversight over private clinics

The opening of a private, for-profit medical clinic in Halifax earlier this week has stirred discussion about the role of a two-tiered health system in Nova Scotia.

The Bluenose Health Clinic on Young Street charges patients a monthly subscription fee for access to a nurse practitioner and patients pay for individual treatments.

Health minister Michelle Thompson spoke to CBC Information Morning Nova Scotia host Portia Clark about the province's position on two-tiered health-care and what power the province has to oversee private clinics .

Their conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

What is your position on private, for-profit clinics like the Bluenose health-care centre?

We've been clear as a government that we are committed to a publicly funded health-care system.

I think it's really important that people know that. We follow the Canada Health Act and we know that there are times when private clinics do pop up in our province, but we are committed to improving and working within a publicly funded health-care system.

How many of these clinics are operating now in our province?

As a province we don't we don't regulate those. We don't know how many there are.

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As far as we know there are not many. We do keep our eyes open for for these and the federal government does as well because of the implications with the Canada Health Act. So I don't have an exact number for you in terms of how many clinics there are in delivering primary.

So there's no oversight from the health department over these for-profit clinics?

There's no provincial oversight. The clinicians that work in these private clinics are regulated by their professional bodies ... and are expected to work within their scope of practice and adhere to their code of ethics.



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