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Calgary clinic halts plan to charge fees for faster access to family physician

The Alberta government says a Calgary clinic has halted its plan to charge patients fees for faster access to its family doctor.

The new fee program at the Marda Loop Medical Clinic was to start today, but Alberta Health spokesman Scott Johnston says the clinic has told the government it won’t proceed.

It’s not clear if the clinic’s fee plan is on hold or has been scrapped altogether.

The clinic did not have any signs up indicating the status of the program and staff declined to comment.

The clinic had promised faster access, along with other perks and discounts, to patients who paid a range of yearly membership fees, including $2,200 for a single adult.

One day a week was to be left open for patients who didn’t opt in.

Health Canada and the province say charging fees for faster access to insured services violates health laws, and the clinic was told it faced fines or the withholding of medicare payments.

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