Wine and chocolates in your hospital bed…Anyone?
A Kelowna, B.C., First Nation is poised to build a 100-bed luxury private hospital serving medical tourists and the wealthy, becoming the first Canadian band to seek profit in private health care.
The Canada Health Act prohibits provinces from charging for medical services by threatening to withdraw federal transfer funds. However, First Nations reserves fall under the authority of the federal government, and there’s effectively no disciplinary measure that could prevent them from setting up a private hospital, said Tom Flanagan, a former University of Calgary political science professor who has written extensively on First Nations issues
The chief of the Westbank First Nation wouldn’t comment on the proposed facility until the deal is ready to move forward, but a senior band employee said construction is slated to begin in October.