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The PMA results are in but how much support is there really? - the Simi Sara Show, CKNW
Public

The results of the vote on the 2012 Physician Master Agreement (PMA) are in but how much support is there for it, really?

Listen to The Simi Sara Show July 25, 2012 broadcast on CKNW Radio and the Chorus network.

The show starts with Dr Shelley Ross, BCMA President and host Michael Smyth on the Bill Good Show including an audio clip of Dr Roland Orfaly.

Then Simi Sara speaks with Dr Dennis Karpiak and Dr Zafar Essak.

Here it is.

Don’t FIPPA your PIPA without knowing this when it comes to personal health information.
Public

Vancouver, BC – May 3, 2010

Stethoscope and keyboardWhen it comes to the privacy of personal health information everyone in British Columbia needs to know how FIPPA (also known as FOIPPA) is different from PIPA, and the same may apply in other jurisdictions across Canada and elsewhere.

This is of particular importance when information is shared between your doctor's private office and a hospital or clinic operated by the Health Authority which is a public body.

In BC, three different legislative Acts govern the privacy and protection of individual personal health information.  There are some very important differences in how these work and the results they have that should be known to all doctors, health providers and patients/clients.

Do you know enough about the new BC health care agreement with doctors?
Public

Tip of the icebergAre you a doctor? Are you a patient? Do you know enough about the new BC health care agreement with doctors?

Doctors don't need to rush to cast their vote, they have until December 4, 2014. This agreement will continue into 2019.

For doctors, will it make their work life better or worse? How will it affect their ability to deliver medical services and serve the public interest?

Will it make BC health care better or worse? Will it make health care more or less efficient? And more or less accessible?

Thank you, the survey is now closed. To view results click here.

Whistle Blowers in Medicine - Do they need help or protection?
Public

 Blowing the whistle on bad medicineListen to this CBC Radio One podcast on whistle blowers in medicine. What do you think?

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Health/Audio/ID/2405232111/?page=2

 

 

Do we need public oversight to the conduct of Judges?
Public

Statue of Themis oversees court room2016-10-05 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

Before we reach a crisis with the Judiciary in Canada is it time for public oversight to the conduct of Judges?

Recently, we have seen the case in Alberta where justice has been delayed and could possibly be derailed because a Judge was not up to date with applicable laws.

We have also seen a case of inappropriate remarks by a Judge, on keeping legs together, raising questions as to him continuing as a Judge.

These are not isolated cases. The Canadian Judicial Council receives many complaints annually, 159 in 2014 and 173 in 2015, on the conduct of Judges from across the country. How do they deal with them?

Will the Federal Government introduce legislation to add public oversight to the Canadian Judicial Council and committee responsible for dealing with complaints on the conduct of Judges?

Opinion: B.C. doctors have been kept in the dark about Doctors of BC bylaw amendments
Public

Dr Caroline Wang, Vancouver BC. January 18, 2017.

Doctors of BC members are being encouraged by the association’s leadership to vote in favour of proposed bylaw amendments to relinquish their democratic right to elect the board of directors. If passed, the new policies and governance structure would, in effect, disenfranchise the approximately 12,000 physician members as the owners of the sole representative association for the medical profession in B.C.

Most worrisome, the majority of doctors appear to be unaware of the profound implications and risks of the proposed changes that would impact physicians, patients and the health-care system. It’s little wonder that the vast majority of doctors, who are interested in practising medicine and not trained in matters of policy governance, would choose to ignore the governance referendum as irrelevant to their practice. They don’t know what they don’t know.

Initial responses and comments from survey on new agreement
Public

Here are the initial responses and comments received from the survey on the new BC health care agreement with doctors.

The survey is now closed.

Here are the results and comments:

US launches new MyPlate icon as reminder for healthier food choices
Public

MyPlate IconOn June 2, 2011 US First Lady Michelle Obama and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the federal government's new food icon, MyPlate.  MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to make healthier food choices and to seek more information by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov

“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “It’s tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our plates. As long as they’re half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we’re golden. That’s how easy it is.”

Will the new BC Societies Act transition be a train wreck?
Public

Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - February 13, 2017.

Train wreckNo one can deny the importance of BC societies to communities large and small throughout the province, assisting all kinds of people as charitable and not for profit societies, including associations that represent occupations and professions.

What can we learn from the early example of transition by the Doctors of BC, the BC Medical Association, formerly a Reporting Society, declaring themselves to be a member-funded society and escaping public disclosure. Do they even meet the required criteria?

When we ask, it may come as a shock to learn the BC Registry is not confirming compliance requirements are met. Is the BC Government failing to provide proper leadership and oversight to the tasks of government?

Is the public trust being neglected? Will there be havoc on public interest and individual rights? Are we going to see a train wreck?

"Deja Vu" - Dr Norman Rigby
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Dr. Norman Rigby, Retired GP and Former Executive Director BCMA.

"The best thing we had going for us was the District 6 Newsletter."

"It excited the attention of the membership."

"What really changed things was when ... the administrator became the President of the hospital, ... and governments started to deal with the President not the Board."

Video highlight from June 3, 2006 Forum for Physicians, Vancouver.

"Deja Vu"
Dr. Norman Rigby, Retired GP and Former Executive Director BCMA.

BC Auditor General issues report on Electronic Health Record (EHR) Implementation.
Public

Health professionals not effectively or adequately engaged.

Approach should ensure health professionals, stakeholders and the public are informed.

BC Auditor General, EHR implementation in BCOn February 17, 2010 the Auditor General of BC, John Doyle, issued his report on “Electronic Health Record Implementation in British Columbia” which is available on their website http://www.bcauditor.com

In his report, the BC Auditor General, acknowledges “The development and implementation of an EHR system … is a complex and high-risk endeavour … because of the large investment of public funds” and “because collecting, storing and disclosing information electronically raises concerns about the privacy and security of personal health information”.

Concerns about the privacy and security of personal health information is not covered to any great extent in the BC Auditor General’s report.  However, several issues have been reported on by the BC Commissioner of Privacy and individual orders are available on their website, http://www.oipc.bc.ca/.  The BC Civil Liberties Association also provides information and discussion on eHealth issues on their website, http://www.bccla.org/ehealth.html

BC is one of five Provincial Auditor General Offices that will issue separate reports for their jurisdictions and the Office of the Auditor General of Canada will be issuing a joint summary report in April 2010.

There’s more in the full report than contained in the news release and Executive summary.  Here are some key highlights.

Disagreement is central to progress
Public

It's never too late to change the world !

Ted Talks - Margaret Heffernan - Dare to disagreeIn this TED talks video Margaret Heffernan demonstrates "that disagreement is central to progress, that the best partners aren't echo chambers and how great businesses allow people to disagree".

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/margaret_heffernan_dare_to_disagree.html

JN Mahy MD FRCSC

Rick Mercer's 2013 Rant - Scientists Muzzled Again
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Rick Mercer Rant Scientists Muzzled Again

This is one of my favorite Rick's Rants. In less than 2 minutes he lays it all out. Beginning with the problem for scientists then in the middle he turns it up a notch, "Get over yourselves. It's not like scientists are the only ones being told to shut up. No, it's everyone." Then after some fine examples he ends with a polite, "Thank you for not talking." A great entertaining and thought provoking rant.

Federal Government seeks intervenor status in B.C. health care court case
Public

Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver - April 26, 2016.

Below is a link to the Globe and Mail article from April 13, 2016.

Hopefully, the debate around the court case, involving Dr. Brian Day's private Cambie Surgery Centre and the BC Provincial Government with a trial scheduled to begin June 6, will not become polarized with views of exclusivity between public and private health care but instead what we could and should do to make public health care more effective so that escape valves, like private care, are less needed without eradicating access to private care by individuals should they need it.

How far do individuals have to go? If the public system delivers the needed service great. If not, is there private care here at home in Canada or do people have to go to other countries?

Nutrients in Our Food
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USDA Nutrient Database search urlIf you ever find yourself wondering what nutrients are in different foods you might want to take a look at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient database. 

It provides a wealth of information on over 7,500 specific food items and details of the nutrients they contain down to the many different minerals, vitamins, types of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and various amino acids.

There are two very useful ways to look at this information on their website. 

You can search for a specific food item and see all the nutrients it contains at
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

For example you can look up "pistachio" nuts, dry roasted or some other food item and see the list of different nutrients measured in that food item.

News Items

Will the new BC Societies Act transition be a train wreck?
Public

Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - February 13, 2017.

Train wreckNo one can deny the importance of BC societies to communities large and small throughout the province, assisting all kinds of people as charitable and not for profit societies, including associations that represent occupations and professions.

What can we learn from the early example of transition by the Doctors of BC, the BC Medical Association, formerly a Reporting Society, declaring themselves to be a member-funded society and escaping public disclosure. Do they even meet the required criteria?

When we ask, it may come as a shock to learn the BC Registry is not confirming compliance requirements are met. Is the BC Government failing to provide proper leadership and oversight to the tasks of government?

Is the public trust being neglected? Will there be havoc on public interest and individual rights? Are we going to see a train wreck?

Viscose rayon and health effects on workers during manufacturing
Public

 Fake Silk by Paul BlancPaul Blanc, University of California professor of medicine, chair of occupational and environmental medicine and author of the book "Fake Silk - The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon" has written about the dangers and health effects to workers in the manufacturing of these materials.

In a recent radio interview on CBC The Current he talks of the dangers and medical effects of exposure to carbon disulfide used in the manufacturing process and the diversity of products. He speaks of places where there are better working conditions and worker safeguards while there are other places where this is not so.

The toxic effects of carbon disulfide are dramatic and onset early. It easily travels into brain tissue and causes insanity along with other medical problems.

Opinion: B.C. doctors have been kept in the dark about Doctors of BC bylaw amendments
Public

Dr Caroline Wang, Vancouver BC. January 18, 2017.

Doctors of BC members are being encouraged by the association’s leadership to vote in favour of proposed bylaw amendments to relinquish their democratic right to elect the board of directors. If passed, the new policies and governance structure would, in effect, disenfranchise the approximately 12,000 physician members as the owners of the sole representative association for the medical profession in B.C.

Most worrisome, the majority of doctors appear to be unaware of the profound implications and risks of the proposed changes that would impact physicians, patients and the health-care system. It’s little wonder that the vast majority of doctors, who are interested in practising medicine and not trained in matters of policy governance, would choose to ignore the governance referendum as irrelevant to their practice. They don’t know what they don’t know.

New Governance with Representative Assembly for Doctors of BC - Part 1
Public

Voting on the Doctors Of BC, BC Medical Association, proposed Bylaws change will close in a few days. Voting on the Governance Referendum began on December 6, 2016 and closes on midnight January 18th, 2017.

The Doctors of BC information provided to members on the proposed bylaws change was also released as news to the public on the Internet and urges members to support the changes.

Cannabis, marijuana, what do we know?
Public

Chemurgy2016-10-16 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

Cannabis is a plant that has been part of human history for thousands of years and on every continent. The uses of cannabis are far beyond just medical and recreational use.

Legalizing cannabis with regulations and taxation may simply perpetuate a narrow view rather than create greater openness, understanding and economic growth.

The Canadian Medical Association 2016 survey showed that almost 40% (39.7%) of doctors agreed or strongly agreed that people should be allowed to grow their own plants, another 22.7% didn't know, and less than 40% (37.6%) of doctors disagreed or strongly disagreed.

What will be the recommendations of the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation? Chaired by Anne McLellan, former deputy prime minister under Paul Martin and former health and justice minister.

What will Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the federal Liberal party, and the Government of Canada decide to do?

What do we really know about cannabis?

Is cannabis more than just good for medical and health use, is it also good for the economy and the environment?

Do we need public oversight to the conduct of Judges?
Public

Statue of Themis oversees court room2016-10-05 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

Before we reach a crisis with the Judiciary in Canada is it time for public oversight to the conduct of Judges?

Recently, we have seen the case in Alberta where justice has been delayed and could possibly be derailed because a Judge was not up to date with applicable laws.

We have also seen a case of inappropriate remarks by a Judge, on keeping legs together, raising questions as to him continuing as a Judge.

These are not isolated cases. The Canadian Judicial Council receives many complaints annually, 159 in 2014 and 173 in 2015, on the conduct of Judges from across the country. How do they deal with them?

Will the Federal Government introduce legislation to add public oversight to the Canadian Judicial Council and committee responsible for dealing with complaints on the conduct of Judges?

Survey: Have you ever filed a complaint on the conduct of a Judge with the Canadian Judicial Council?
Public

Canadian Judicial CouncilHave you had concerns about the conduct of a Judge in Canada distinctly separate from the ruling of the Judge? Have you considered or filed a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council?

Please complete this brief survey to share your experience and thoughts.

Thank you.

Not sham, not flam, real substance
Public

Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie2016-09-30 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

For many Canadians electing the Trudeau Liberal government in 2015 was in hope of a fresh move away from the sham of some past governments.

It was also in hope for more than just flamboyance, indeed a hope for real substance. Meaningful and effective governance of our country and in world affairs.

Almost one year into the Liberal mandate, 1 down 3 to go, and where are we?

What is the plan that will propel our economy, save our environment, ensure transparency and reduce bureaucracy?

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