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Liberal's pro-private health comments prompt NDP claims of elitism

(Marcellla Bernardo, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The New Democrats are calling out a Metro Vancouver Liberal candidate who’s admitted to having surgery at a for-profit clinic.

Linda Reimer, the MLA seeking re-election in Port Moody-Coquitlam, also spoke out in favour of private health care at an all-candidates forum last night (Thursday).

“I do support the privatization to a certain extent. I think that choice is always good for people… By me going to the private system meant that it opened up another space for somebody in the public health care system, so I do support some choice for those who are able to afford it.”

However, the NDP’s former health critic and New Westminster MLA, Judy Darcy, says that’s insulting to all the British Columbians currently waiting up to two years for an operation.

“And their medical condition deteriorates and yet, Liberal candidates like Linda Reimer brag about the fact that she can afford to go to a private clinic.”

She adds almost one in five publicly-funded operating rooms are under-staffed.

“It is absolutely unconscionable and this premier is setting the wrong example. I have absolutely no doubt that if Christy Clark is re-elected, we are going to see more of her rich friends jumping the queue, while ordinary British Columbians languish in pain.”

Darcy’s also suggesting the situation will get worse if plans are approved to let doctors spend more time moonlighting at private clinics.