Growing number of doctors won't provide assisted dying service because of inadequate fee schedule

A handful of Vancouver Island doctors say they cannot afford to provide assisted dying services under a new few schedule.

Victoria's Dr. Jesse Pewarchuk, says he will no longer provide the service as his costs are more than the $200 payout he would receive from BC's Medical Services Plan.

The Canadian Association representing service providers says fees don't come close to adequately covering a doctor's expenses in what is a complex and often emotional procedure.

 Physicians says all they are asking for compensation based on the time they spend providing the service -- just as doctors in prairie provinces get.

Speaking on CFAX Jeffrey Brookes, co-chair of the Victoria Chapter of Dying with Dignity Canada, says he's on the doctors' side.

Brookes says the degree of care, compassion and kindness the physicians demonstrate goes above and beyond what anyone might expect, and despite the difficulty of the work doctors receive about half of what they would if they were treating patients in office.

The fee changes are complicated, requires doctors to complete eligibility assessments, and does not cover travel.  One doctor in Courtenay has said after covering office overhead she is actually losing money providing assisted dying services.

 

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