Well, as I write this it’s a little more than a week until I become your new president. As I expect many of my predecessors experienced in these early days, I look forward to the challenges ahead, but at the same time am somewhat awed.
This will be the first full year of the implementation of the Physician Master Agreement.
This Agreement provides the framework for the relationship between the government and the health authorities and the BCMA and doctors. Although the doctors of BC currently have a good relationship with government—one that is both collaborative and cooperative—a key ongoing duty of my presidency will be to build upon those strengths to ensure our relationship remains stable.
Another key priority included in the Agreement is the resolving of disputes by different methods. These would be disputes that physicians may have with health authorities regarding local contracts, MOCAP, or placement on the payment range. Or they may be disputes over quality of care being provided to patients, whether it’s overcrowding in EDs, timely access for surgical care, or access to palliative care.
There are agreed-upon processes and resources whereby physicians can work with health authorities and the BCMA to address these kinds of issues as they arise.
I look forward to working within the Master Agreement to ensure that the issues that physicians encounter will be taken care of in a timely manner.
Also on my agenda for the year is to look for ways in which the membership can be more engaged with the BCMA. Your association is only as good as you make it. With more than 70 active committees, a wealth of opportunity exists for increased member involvement. I encourage you to visit the new BCMA web site (same address: www.bcma.org) and check out the many different committee options—there truly is something there for every interest.
A final priority for this year is to continue the work of my predecessors to unite physicians of all stripes. I realize that pressure can mount in the face of physician and resource shortages, that priorities of different groups can sometimes clash, and that the allocation process has been difficult, but unity is the best guarantee for the future of our profession, and for future negotiations. It is a continual work in process that I look forward to advancing.
Throughout the year I will be meeting with and listening to members. And I promise I’ll listen to both complaints and compliments in good faith. Thank you for the honor of being your president for the next year.
—J. William Mackie, MD