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Dr Karpiak on Bill Good CKNW - Bureaucracy in health care is not sustainable
Public

Dr Dennis Karpiak, Internist and former BCMA Board Director from the Interior of BC speaking on the Bill Good Show CKNW radio 980 on July 10, 2012.

"It's become increasingly more difficult to sustain a practice in this province."

"The BCMA 20 years ago formed the Regionalization committee that predicted the rise of bureaucracy and a decline in patient care funding."

"Currently you can walk through any hospital and you'll see more administration offices than patient rooms."

Listen to the whole interview.

Is the new BC Health Care Agreement the right medicine for better health care?
Public

Z. Essak, MD - Dec 3, 2014.

In a few days, the three weeks of voting on the new BC health care agreement with doctors will end and the results of the vote will be known.

What have we learned through the process?

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.

Second Opinion re: BCMA Physician Master Agreement
Public

BC doctors have seen several communications from the BCMA/Doctors of BC asking its membership to vote in favour of the 5-year Physician Master Agreement (PMA) by Dec. 4, 2014.

I would like to share my 'second opinion' of this complex agreement, in the sincere hope that it will help stimulate needed discussion and more thoughtful reflection amongst my fellow colleagues.

BC Appeal Court to rule on Qualified Privilege
Public

Vancouver, BC – Z. Essak, March 5, 2014.

Vancouver Courts skylineNext week on March 11th and 12th the BC Appeal Court in Vancouver will be hearing the matter in Wang v BC Medical Association and named Defendants.

Why might this Appeal Court hearing be important to people in all walks of life in BC especially those involved as board directors and members of any non-profit Society, Association, Health Authority, Union and even corporations?

When can members of a Board claim qualified privilege as a defense for what they do?

Qualified privilege is a special privilege for those in positions of authority or trust. When does qualified privilege apply and when are actions simply an abuse of privilege, position, or power?

Burnout and Resilience
Public

Vancouver BC - Oct 19, 2011.

burning candleA talk on burnout in doctors at a recent conference in Vancouver provided good information and stimulated further exploration.

During questions the speaker said the prevalence of burnout in doctors is 20 percent and tends to occur in pockets or clusters.

The talk focused on burnout resulting from lack of recognition while caring for others. Although burnout can also result from lack of recognition from colleagues and co-workers, lack of resources, and degree of bureaucracy.

Burnout can also occur in other aspects of our lives besides our work.

Good news from the talk is research shows that when individuals examined their level of burnout and attended to the risk of burnout they were not only able to reduce their current risk but their future risk of burnout continued to remain less and even improved further over time.

eHealth series in the Province newspaper
Public

Vancouver, BC - Sep 24, 2013

Beginning at the end of last week and continuing this week the Province newspaper is publishing a series of articles on eHealth.

Topics so far include:

Video link saves time all around.

Website brings help to chronic disease sufferers.

New Electronic tools are making patients active partners in their own health care.

Isn't there a medical app for that?

A doctor, a patient and an iPad: Innovation on the front lines.

The Patient-Physician Covenant: An Affirmation of Asklepios from Annals of Internal Medicine
Public

Medicine is, at its center, a moral enterprise grounded in a covenant of trust. This covenant obliges physicians to be competent and to use their competence in the patient's best interests. Physicians, therefore, are both intellectually and morally obliged to act as advocates for the sick wherever their welfare is threatened and for their health at all times.

Today, this covenant of trust is significantly threatened.

Medical Post editor votes for doctors to rescue public health care in Canada
Public

Medical post editorialThe Medical Post editorial published on May 24, 2011 draws attention to a report co-authored by David Dodge and Richard Dion on "Chronic Healthcare Spending Disease". The editorial also offers several insights on why the editor votes for doctors to rescue public health care.

The future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada: Where are we going?
Public

Norman Rockwell Doctors Office2016-07-21 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

My career as a physician has been to focus on what people are dealing with and how they are dealing with it, not to be distracted by who they are.

With professional respect for the individual and family we ensure confidentiality and personal privacy. It is also the way we communicate with colleagues when we discuss a case.

It is part of the discipline of thinking, to avoid personification and avoid being tainted by influence, by being aware and acknowledging the risk.

Who I am is not really relevant, although I have a long list of professional experiences I can show on a resume just as I am sure others who contribute to these discussions can do.

What matters is, does this discussion help? What is worth exploring further?

What is the future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada? Where are we going?

Health issues for adults born with cerebral palsy
Public

What happens to children born with cerebral palsy when they become adults?

In one case an individual born with cerebral palsy when they were an adult in their early 30’s had progressive deterioration of function involving their affected upper limb.

The individual was reviewed by their orthopedic surgeon who suggested botox injections for spasms and possibly some cosmetic improvement to the upper extremity although not optimistic for functional improvement.

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?

BCMA AGM - Unfunded liabilities?
Public

After the presentation of the Financial Reports at Saturday's AGM of the BCMA I asked Finance Committee Chair a couple of questions. As in the past, what interested me was what had been omitted rather than what had been included.

Page 2 of the 'white paper' report contains a listing of revenue and expenses, and under the latter heading was listed Consulting and Professional Fees in the amount of $998,101.00 This was further broken down on one of the projected slides as indicating that about $250K were 'legal' fees; but no further description.

What are the fiduciary duties of directors of the BC Medical Association?
Public

Vancouver, BC - Z. Essak, April 22,  2014

The BC Medical Association (BCMA), now rebranding itself as the DoctorsOfBC, is a non-profit Society in BC. It is a voluntary professional association of physicians that purports to represent all BC physicians in negotiations regardless of whether or not physicians choose to be a member.

The 2014 BCMA elections are now underway. Which way are the winds blowing? Are they winds of change? Are they strong enough? Will we see openness, transparency and accountability emerge or continued substitution with opaque communications and marketing?

Why do Ontario docs rock on a different day?
Public

I'm always happy to receive wishes to have a good day.

Today, I was surprised by a designated doctor's day on May 1 in Ontario. Complete with kids coloring page, "My doc rocks because ..."

This is new to me. I've never celebrated doctor's day or known anyone who has.

On looking a little further I found that March 30 is touted as a national doctors day,

News Items

Don't get swept away by the spin on health care
Public

medical spin2016-08-22 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

We better be careful not to get swept away by the spin of BC Liberals pre-election buzz.

And when it comes to the spin on health care they're not alone.

The same spin seems to be coming from the leaders of the medical association DoctorsOfBC. Is this the result of being co-managers of BC healthcare for almost a decade through the GPSC and other initiatives?

Is it any surprise they are all so complimenting of each other?

What are we to believe? That they have a plan? That it's going to work, someday, soon?

Yes, the plan to spend tax payer dollars is happening. Billions of dollars and hundreds of millions over budget. So where are the results?

The future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada: Where are we going?
Public

Norman Rockwell Doctors Office2016-07-21 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

My career as a physician has been to focus on what people are dealing with and how they are dealing with it, not to be distracted by who they are.

With professional respect for the individual and family we ensure confidentiality and personal privacy. It is also the way we communicate with colleagues when we discuss a case.

It is part of the discipline of thinking, to avoid personification and avoid being tainted by influence, by being aware and acknowledging the risk.

Who I am is not really relevant, although I have a long list of professional experiences I can show on a resume just as I am sure others who contribute to these discussions can do.

What matters is, does this discussion help? What is worth exploring further?

What is the future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada? Where are we going?

The Patient-Physician Covenant: An Affirmation of Asklepios from Annals of Internal Medicine
Public

Medicine is, at its center, a moral enterprise grounded in a covenant of trust. This covenant obliges physicians to be competent and to use their competence in the patient's best interests. Physicians, therefore, are both intellectually and morally obliged to act as advocates for the sick wherever their welfare is threatened and for their health at all times.

Today, this covenant of trust is significantly threatened.

Survey results: Why did more than 70% not bother to vote in 2016 Doctors of BC elections
Public

The results on the survey so far may come as a surprise.

Was it fair to ask these questions? Some comments have questioned this, but these are some of the questions that doctors have been asking each other in hallways, over coffee, and at meetings. So why not ask them in a survey?

The survey was not sponsored by anyone. All members of doclounge can use the survey tools to create a questionnaire and the survey was made public to allow the questions to be answered anonymously. The tools can be used for any kind of survey.

What are the results of the survey?

Last kick at the can for some tax credits
Public

This tax season has been one of the least stressful thanks in large part to StudioTax free software for Canadian tax filing.

Also, thanks to a colleague sharing their recommendation and experience along with a few helpful tips to encourage using it.

Only after having completed the Netfile process I came across an article on the Globe and Mail website highlighting the last kick at the can for some tax credits. Some of these extend into the 2016 and 2017 Tax years and well worth a look. They relate to Fitness and Art tax credits, Education and textbook credits, as well as some less broadly applicable ones.

Why do Ontario docs rock on a different day?
Public

I'm always happy to receive wishes to have a good day.

Today, I was surprised by a designated doctor's day on May 1 in Ontario. Complete with kids coloring page, "My doc rocks because ..."

This is new to me. I've never celebrated doctor's day or known anyone who has.

On looking a little further I found that March 30 is touted as a national doctors day,

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?

Job Posting for Deputy Registrar at College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSBC) – Is something different?
Public

Z. Essak, MD – Vancouver, BC – 2015 Apr 23

medical regulation shield imageThe College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC is looking to hire a new Deputy Registrar with the deadline for applications of April 30, 2015 fast approaching.

Is there something different about the experience required in this job posting – “a career opportunity in medical regulation”?

The proven experience and qualifications all candidates should have begins with, "minimum 10 years of senior administrative experience in a complex health-related organization (e.g. regulator, health authority, association, etc.)"

Also the requirements, while including "medical degree preferred", are open to others with "master of business/health administration or law degree also accepted".

Is this a sign of changes or a shift underway at the College (CPSBC)?

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