• Failing on the Fundamentals: The Chaoulli Decision
  • July 7, 2005 | Authors: D. Martin Low; Lydia Wakulowsky
  • Law Firm: McMillan LLP - Toronto Office
  • Many Canadians spend their lives in unnecessary pain. George Zeliotis, a 73 year-old retiree from Montreal, needed hip replacement surgery in 1996. He remained on a wait list for one year in a badly bottlenecked public health care system. Zeliotis finally tried to buy insurance to pay for the procedure in a private health clinic but learned that Quebec law prohibited him from using private insurance to pay for "medically necessary" services. His only other option, paying out-of-pocket for private surgery in the United States (or elsewhere) was far beyond his financial means.