Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Protect Public Primary Care

Why are some patients having to pay thousands of dollars to visit their family doctor?

Over two million people in Ontario don’t have a family doctor, and that number is expected to grow to 4.4 million in just two years.   

Last year, about 1,600 patients at Taddle Creek Family Health in downtown Toronto lost their family doctor to a private "executive health" medical clinic called MDDirect.  

MDDirect requires patients to pay an annual fee of $3695.00/year for patients 14-20 years old and up to 4,995.00/year for patients 65 years and old. 

The rise in executive medical clinics like MDDirect are a warning that we are moving to a two-tiered health care system, where those with means get better access to the care, and the rest of us are left with less. 

This is Canada.  We strive to build an excellent public health care system where you get good care based on need, not on how much you earn or how much you can pay or where you live. 

The Canada Health Act is very clear.  Health care providers cannot engage in extra billing or charge for medically necessary services like this.

This is shouldn't be happening in Ontario. That's why we're calling on the Ontario government to step in and fix primary care. 

The Ontario government should: 

  • Investigate medical clinics that are charging these exorbitant annual fees for any violation of the Canada Health Act
  • Enforce the ban the practice of excessive extra billing and user fees for medically necessary care
  • Invest in public primary heath care to ensure that everyone in Ontario has access to a family doctor or primary care provider.