NEWS
05/16/2016 17:57 EDT | Updated 05/17/2017 01:12 EDT

Brian Day, private medical care advocate, loses Doctors of B.C. election

Dr. Brian Day, the co-owner of a controversial private surgical clinic in Vancouver and a proponent for more private sector involvement in the health care system, has lost his bid to become the president of Doctors of B.C.

Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, a doctor based in Golden, won the vote 1,896 to 1,674, the organization announced on Monday.

In 2015, Day was elected president of Doctors of B.C., the organization that represents the province's doctors, by a single vote in an election that saw turnout of only 20 percent.

However, a recount showed Day actually tied with Dr. Alan Ruddiman, and a run-off election with 50 percent turnout saw Ruddiman win handily.

Day has been called one of the strongest proponents for private health care in Canada. He co-founded the private Cambie clinic in 1995 but came under fire in a 2012 audit for illegally charging patients for services.

He has since challenged the B.C. government in court, arguing that a Canada Health Act prohibition that prevents doctors from billing patients privately is a charter violation.

Day also served as the president of the Canadian Medical Association from 2007-2008.

In his platform for the presidency of Doctors of B.C., Day wrote, "I don't favour privatizing Medicare, but I believe the private sector has a role within a universal system."

In the past, Day has accused critics of taking his comments in support of private health care out of context, saying he has never supported the privatization of health care in Canada.

Soles made no mention of the private sector in her platform, writing, "I support publicly funded health care and equitable access for all Canadians."