Arguments began Tuesday in British Columbia in a case that has implications for Canada’s health care system.
A private surgical centre in Vancouver is challenging B.C’s ban on people buying private insurance for medically necessary services already covered by medicare.
Some legal experts call it one of the biggest constitutional cases ever.
A lawyer for the Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver and Dr. Brian Day says easing restrictions on private health care for medically necessary services would free up resources and shorten wait times in the public system.
But opponents, like Ian Culbert, with the Canadian Health Association, argue that allowing private insurance for things covered by government medicare only threatens the system.
He says some doctors in Canada would opt to work in private facilities only, which would lead to wait times in the public system staying the same or even getting longer.