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Canada high court overturns Quebec limitation on private health care

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] Thursday overturned a section of a Quebec law that prevented people from buying private insurance for procedures covered by public health care. The Quebec Hospital Insurance Act [text] was challenged [Canadian Press report] when a Montreal man complained that he would have to wait a year to get a hip replacement, and that it was illegal to pay for the procedure on his own in order to bypass the public wait. Although the court found that the challenged provisions violated the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text, PDF], the court found no violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [official backgrounder]. This means the ruling has no technical impact on the Canadian health care system as a whole, although observers expect some political fallout as Canadians continue to struggle with challenges to their once-robust public medicare system. Read the full text of the Supreme Court judgment. CBC News has more.

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