Feature

American-style medicine

The week's news at a glance.

Vancouver

Canada’s first private primary medical center opened in Vancouver this week, spurring new debate over the nation’s troubled public health-care system. Don Copeman, owner of the Copeman Healthcare Centre, said he wanted to give patients an alternative to the long lines that plague the national system. In exchange for a $1,000 enrollment fee and about $2,000 in annual charges, Copeman says he’ll provide “unhurried” access to doctors. Critics said the arrangement was a step toward the U.S. system, in which many can’t afford the best care and top clinics function like “elitist” clubs. “It’s preferential access to care,” said Debra McPherson, president of the British Columbia Nurses Union.

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