Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says if a Calgary medical clinic begins charging a fee for faster access to a family doctor, it will be shut down, fined or have medicare payments from the province withheld.
Smith says her government is committed to the principles of the Canada Health Act that include patients not paying to access publicly funded services such as doctor visits.
The Marda Loop Medical Clinic in Calgary has told patients it will begin offering membership-fee based services, including faster access to its physician, starting Tuesday.
The annual membership is set at $2,200 for an individual and $4,800 for a family.
The clinic promises to keep one day a week open for patients who have not signed on to the membership plan.
Health Canada has said the fees violate the provisions of the Health Act, which guarantees a level playing field for access to insured medical services paid for from the public purse.
The clinic has not responded to a request for comment.
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