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Calgary medical clinic faces deadline on plan to charge fees for faster doctor access

CALGARY — The Alberta government says it wants an answer today from a Calgary medical clinic about its plan to charge membership fees for faster access to a family doctor.

Alberta Health, in a letter sent Friday to the Marda Loop Medical Clinic, says if the clinic moves ahead as promised with the fees, an audit and investigation will begin.

The letter states such fees violate the universality provisions of the Canada Health Act along with related rules set by the province.

Premier Danielle Smith has said if the clinic proceeds with the plan, it will be shut down, fined or have medicare payments withheld.

The clinic informed patients by email that it would begin charging annual fees on Tuesday, including $2,200 a year for a single adult.

The Opposition NDP says other clinics are engaging in similar practices and called on Smith to end what it calls “members-only” medicine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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