The ongoing controversy over cancer care and where patients can get treatment has sparked debate over whether the government's latest initiative could violate its own health act.
In a letter on the opinion page of the Gazette, the MUHC patients' committee expressed concerns over how the government's latest edict to encourage off-island patients to seek treatment closer to home would be enforced.
"By Article 6, the patient can insist to be treated where they want to be treated," said Dr. Paul Saba of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice.
Patients' rights advocate Paul Brunet says patients can certainly cite Article 6 of the health act stipulating they have the right to choose their hospital or doctor.
The only exemption would be if hospitals don't have adequate or avaliable resources to treat the patient.
"To refuse and to instruct doctors not to treat patients that are not from Montreal, that is certainly irregular if not illegal," said Brunet.
Quebec health minister Rejean Hebert has said that budgets will have to be re-adjusted as the volume of patients decreases.
Saba however, stated that hospitals should not be intimidated by the PQ's threat of budget cuts.
"This is where the healthcare institutions can't be afraid and need to challenge the government in their decisions to not finance healthcare," he said.