This paper traces the development of British Columbia's controversial Bill 41, which empowers that province's Ministry of Health to restrict the issuance of billing numbers entitling physicians to seek payment from the provincial medical services plan. The bill and its predecessors have been the subjects of two court challenges by the medical profession, and the legal battles continue. The bill has also taken on a role in the evolving interpretation of Canada's new Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Meanwhile, the policy appears to be slowing the rate of growth in physician supply in the province, but its impact on the real targetmedical care costs is still uncertain.

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