Apathy was the word that came to mind as I read the January/February President’s Comment [BCMJ 2015;57:10]. This was an upbeat summary of the new 5-year plan. The 91% vote in favor out of 3456 is misleading when you realize there are approximately 10 963 practising physicians in BC. Such a discrepancy demonstrates apathy, or perhaps disinterest, on the part of two-thirds of practising MDs.
I feel that the agreement was for too long a duration, and the financial settlement did not even match the projected inflation rates for the next 5 years. As for the promise of collaboration with the health care bureaucrats, history and continual loss of input from the medical profession make this dream unlikely. The usual reply to any positive suggestion from the profession is deferred “due to budget restrictions.”
The development of regional health districts (a bad idea) has made consultation difficult as the head office is often a great distance from many of the hospitals, which keeps the profession and public at arm’s length from the many administrators.
The really sad aspect of our current situation is the plight of our patients, who experience unreasonable delays in many treatment programs “due to the system,” a frequently used alibi!
While the Minister of Health and various departments are mainly responsible for our present situation, our profession should step up and be more proactive in representing our patients.
The present situation is unsatisfactory and I’m truly sorry about the poor service many patients receive. I’m also saddened when I recall the loss of the influence the profession used to have in the health care system.
I wish the president and Board of Directors success in their efforts to improve “the system.”
—Al Boggie, MD
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