New Brunswick — As medical wait times continue to rise in the province, local ticket resellers have found a way to make the best out of a bad situation. These “scalpers,” notorious for buying up concert and event tickets and reselling them at outrageous prices, have recently turned their attention to reselling surgical procedures.
“It’s not hard to do,” explained long-time ticket scalper Mario Parker. “With so many of the province’s health programs moving online or to phone-based care, you just phone up a doctor, complain about a pain in your side, and then they schedule you in for an emergency appendectomy in 8 to 12 months. Then, when next year comes around, you can sell that spot to the highest bidder.”
Won’t the healthcare system notice that they’re performing major procedures on the wrong person?
“Are you talking about this healthcare system?” Parker asked, with a laugh.
Until the province takes measures to stop the practice, Parker said that the financial incentive is too great for resellers to give it up. Low-level day surgeries can go for $2,000-$12,000, and more invasive surgeries can go for as much as $90,000-$300,000.
This has only become more true in recent weeks after the province announced that they would be updating their surgical wait times to include times for each individual surgeon.
“If you think BTS fans are nuts, you ought to see the cult surrounding Dr. Vanessa Mandervell. Her subreddit is insane.”
For many, this idea would seem to be morally reprehensible, but according to Parker, the blame does not fall on resellers.
“We don’t create the system,” he said. “We just perpetuate it and exploit it for profit.”
Before finishing the interviews, Parker asked The Manatee if they had a “classifieds” section in which he could place an ad.
“I’m looking to unload a hysterectomy,” he said. “I’ve got one scheduled for August and I’m really hoping I won’t have to go through with it.”