Private H1N1 shots result of local policy: Aglukkaq
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq side-stepped questions Sunday about a controversial private clinic in Toronto which has been giving paying customers the swine flu vaccine.
The Medcan clinic in downtown Toronto said on Friday that its high-risk customers have been able to access the vaccine without lineups. Meanwhile, other Torontonians have been forced to lineup for hours at public clinics.
Rather than wade into the thorny issue, Aglukkaq instead said that the decision to provide the clinic with doses of the vaccine was up to local officials in Toronto.
"The federal government provided vaccine to the provinces and territories," she told CTV's Question Period.
"How the provinces and territories distribute their vaccine is their responsibility. We do not deliver health care, the provinces and territories deliver health care."
The comments came a day after the Medcan clinic said it would open up its services to the general public free of charge.
Prior to that statement, only the clinic's 40,000 paying customers could get the shot. However, customers first had undergo a "comprehensive assessment" which costs $2,300 and is not covered by OHIP, a spokesperson from the clinic said.
In recent days, Torontonians have become increasingly frustrated with the city's public vaccination facilities. On Saturday, hundreds of people waiting for shots at two centres were sent home because demand was too large.