Lawyers for the province's health authorities are going to court to block a walkout next week by B.C. anesthetists.
Lawyer Penny Washington, acting for the province's health authorities, outlined the plan Monday as she released a letter threatening suspension of practice privileges for specialists who walk off the job.
The letter is being circulated to anesthetists, who are being asked to commit by 5 p.m. Tuesday not to walk out.
The letters, said Ms. Washington, will inform the legal action by providing a sense of how many specialists may follow through with the walkout being engineered by the B.C. Anesthesiologists Society.
"Our client does not consider it appropriate to use patients and their well being as a tool to leverage a demand for compensation," said the letter drafted by Ms. Washington of the law firm Bull Housser.
Anesthetists have been threatening to withdraw their services if they don't get a better deal in contract talks with the province. Through the B.C Anesthesiologists Society, the specialists have suggested they are underpaid.
In response Monday, Dr. Jeff Rains, the society president, decried what he called "bullying tactics" by the health authorities and government and said the society would be consulting its lawyers to decide how to respond.