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Not the only nail in the coffin of democracy at the Canadian Medical Association
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Not the only nail in the coffin of democracyDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - August 11, 2021.

In less than two weeks, on August 22, 2021 the Canadian Medical Association will hold its AGM as a virtual meeting with proposed bylaw amendments that some doctors say will be the end of democracy at the CMA. While the proposed bylaw amendments deserve to be defeated by physician members, it is not the whole story. This is not the only nail in the coffin of democracy in the CMA and in the medical profession throughout the country and the provinces.

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

Dr Ian McWhinney, Canada's "Founding Father of Family Medicine"
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Photo of Dr Ian R. McWhinneyDr Ian R. McWhinney was an English physician and academic who moved to the University of Western Ontario as the first chair of family medicine in Canada where he started the country's first Department of Family Medicine in 1968. He became known in Canada and around the world as the "Father of Family Medicine".

He published over 100 articles during his lifetime and is well known for his influential book, Textbook of Family Medicine. The opening chapter, The Origins of Family Medicine, provides a brief history of medicine including the emergence and need for Family Medicine.

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

Rethinking the Internet: How We Lost Control and How To Take It Back
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Rethinking the Internet, scene of the debate.This is an interesting and thought provoking 1 hour video interview and debate. It begins with a 5 minute overview and then proceeds with an interview by moderator Bill Blakemore with Jaron Lanier, a long-time computer scientist and developer and the father of virtual reality, who is concerned about the use of behaviour modification "to engage and addict you to algorithmic exploration until we find whatever it is that will get you".

Following the interview there is a debate with four speakers; Tim Hwang, Meredith Whittaker, Aviv Ovadya, and Brett Frischmann. They touch on many aspects of not only the Internet but also power in organizations, how it's lost and who has it.

Disagreement is central to progress
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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

An appeal to heal the wounds from the past: 111 years ago, and from the 2021 CMA AGM
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September 30, Tweet by Dr. Alika Lafontaine2021

Open letter to CMA Board Chair
and CMA President-Elect.

Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, Board Chair, Canadian Medical Association,

The tweet by Dr. Alika Lafontaine, CMA President-Elect, and your re-tweet of his message leave many physician colleagues with the strong impression that some folks are slow to learn and apply the principles of fair democratic practice. Instead, the content reflects arrogance, bias, and contempt.

Will we see changes to copyright laws in Canada?
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2019-06-21 Vancouver, BC

Canadian copyright laws were updated in 2012. Now, in 2019, two Canadian Parliamentary Standing Committees delivered reports with recommendations on changes to copyright laws in Canada.

Will we see any changes to the copyright laws in the near future?

Understanding Generations X, Y, Z and more
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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the growing list of names for different generations; boomers, gen-X, millenials, zoomers and what follows? Here are a couple of links that may help.

Requirements to be Deputy Registrar at College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSBC) – Is something different?
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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)?

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.

Celebrating and helping caregivers
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Patti and SherriDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - February 16, 2018

According to Statistics Canada there are eight million caregivers in Canada. Most are unpaid, regular people who are taking care of aging and ailing parents, children with disabilities, and friends who need them. Caregivers get little or no attention, despite their massive numbers.

Some caregivers find inspiration and friendship from those they care for and some find themselves with personal challenges through caring for others. Healthcare providers may experience the same themselves and see this in those they serve.

Sharing caregivers' stories may help others find inspiration or recognize the impact on themselves and what they might be able to do.

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

Times-Colonist OpEd: Dix needs to listen to healthcare providers
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Dix needs to listen to healthcare providers, The Times Colonist.Please read the OpEd by a BC family doctor that while Health Minister Adrian Dix uses findings of the Cayton report to defend the rapid introduction of Bill 36, the HPOA, he refuses to comment on the contradictory content in the report and snubs the issues raised by the Doctors of BC.

More than 400 doctors attend Bill 36 HPOA Webinar by Doctors of BC
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Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - May 3, 2023.

How important is Bill 36, the new Health Professions and Occupations Act, to doctors, nurses, all health care professionals, and patients? Important enough that more than 400 doctors attended the Doctors of BC Townhall Webinar on Tuesday April 25 at 6:30 pm. This, in the middle of the week, while doctors are trying to finish work or balancing family and meal time. When was the last time you saw 400 doctors attend a meeting? We haven’t seen a number like that at the DOBC AGM for decades.

It was a very informative webinar organized by DOBC with over 100 questions from doctors to a panel of three Ministry of Health staff, as architects of Bill 36, followed by a panel of the DOBC: President, Dr. Josh Greggain; new CEO, Anthony Knight; staff lawyer, Deborah Viccars; and moderated by Marisa Adair, Director of Communications.

News Items

Sign up to see the BC College of Physicians hearing on Dr. Charles Hoffe
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Dr. Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC – February 11, 2024.

Dr Charles Hoffe imageIf you are a doctor or a patient who is concerned about health care in BC, there are only a few days left to sign up to see the BC College of Physicians hearing on Dr. Charles Hoffe. This will be an opportunity to see how the College of Physicians disciplinary hearing works. Is the College sincere about seeking the truth and ensuring doctors provide proper medical care for the benefit of patients? Or is the College focused on control of doctors and to endorse government policies?

If you are interested in the online Zoom meeting, you may have to register by the end of this week, February 16, to ensure your opportunity to view the hearing from March 4 to 15, 2024. Instructions on how to register are provided below.

Judicial Review of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Orders begins in BC Supreme Court on Monday, November 20, 2023.
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Dr. Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - November 19, 2023.

Vancouver Law CourtsFinally, an opportunity for everyone to hear a BC Judicial Review of the ongoing orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry, Public Health Officer, and the BC Government that, since November 2021, have impacted the livelihood of thousands of health care workers in BC who are unvaccinated, prohibiting them from working in health care. BC and Nova Scotia are the only jurisdictions in the world that have not allowed unvaccinated health care workers to return to work. Orders and actions that have caused severe division even among health professionals and workers; where nurses, doctors, paramedics, porters and others are not sure who is safe to talk to if they disagree or think consent for vaccination is paramount.

Starting Monday, November 20, 2023, the BC Supreme Court will begin the Judicial Review of Dr Henry’s orders and the October 2023 amendment perpetuating them.

What loud bells will wake BC doctors and the public to the dangers of Bill 36, the HPOA?
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Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - November 6, 2023.

Image of the great bell ben.There is a sleeping sickness throughout our land. It has found its way into health care and affected all the doctors. It is not some esoteric thing happening in some small political arena or lawyers club. This impacts all of BC and all of us: the ability of doctors to practice medicine the way they were taught and trained, according to their conscience and oath for the benefit of patients.

The significance of Bill 36, the Health Professions and Occupations Act, is profound and the association, Doctors of BC, should be ringing alarm bells. Instead, they are subduing the importance of it, convincing all doctors to move on to the regulations, like lemmings over the cliff. Not only is this unhelpful to doctors, it is actually dangerous for doctors with their purpose and professional obligations to deliver health care to patients. Bells need to ring everywhere, and the association should be dissolved.

Documentary: Waiting To Die - Canada's Health Care Crisis
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 Waiting to Die - Canada's Health Care CrisisA new one hour documentary by Aaron Gunn, "Waiting To Die - Canada's Health Care Crisis" was released yesterday (August 14, 2023) and in less than one day had more than 23,000 views and more than 700 comments from people sharing their own experiences and thoughts.

Times-Colonist OpEd: Dix needs to listen to healthcare providers
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Dix needs to listen to healthcare providers, The Times Colonist.Please read the OpEd by a BC family doctor that while Health Minister Adrian Dix uses findings of the Cayton report to defend the rapid introduction of Bill 36, the HPOA, he refuses to comment on the contradictory content in the report and snubs the issues raised by the Doctors of BC.

More than 400 doctors attend Bill 36 HPOA Webinar by Doctors of BC
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Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - May 3, 2023.

How important is Bill 36, the new Health Professions and Occupations Act, to doctors, nurses, all health care professionals, and patients? Important enough that more than 400 doctors attended the Doctors of BC Townhall Webinar on Tuesday April 25 at 6:30 pm. This, in the middle of the week, while doctors are trying to finish work or balancing family and meal time. When was the last time you saw 400 doctors attend a meeting? We haven’t seen a number like that at the DOBC AGM for decades.

It was a very informative webinar organized by DOBC with over 100 questions from doctors to a panel of three Ministry of Health staff, as architects of Bill 36, followed by a panel of the DOBC: President, Dr. Josh Greggain; new CEO, Anthony Knight; staff lawyer, Deborah Viccars; and moderated by Marisa Adair, Director of Communications.

Three Reasons for a Chat with Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Health Minister Adrian Dix and BC Premier David Eby
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Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - April 5, 2023

Trojan horse imageHaving worked for 40 years as a family physician in BC, when I heard the media announcements recently: that on April 3 vaccine mandates will be lifted on BC public service government workers but not on health care workers until it can become a permanent condition of work in health care, and that we may see only combined vaccines in the fall; it struck me that it’s time we had a real chat. This can’t wait.

Politics is often seen as a glamorous, shiny and sometimes slimy affair. But, seriously, politics is about how we make collective decisions and manage the affairs of our society in our democracy.

There are three things I believe we need to talk about now:

BC's new Family Practice LFP model uptake at 45 percent, why are 55 percent still cautious?
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Vancouver, BC - March 7, 2023

According to the DoBC Newsflash:

Doctors of BC says more than 2,000 physicians have signed up for the Longitudinal Family Practice pay scheme in the five weeks since it took effect, representing about 45 per cent of longitudinal family doctors. “That gives me great hope, and I think our entire negotiating team and the Ministry of Health some real optimism that we got the model right, because people are joining,” Doctors of BC president Dr Josh Greggain told Global News on Monday.

"We got the model right." Is that correct? At least enough for bureaucrats to be happy and smiling, it gives "great hope to our entire negotiating team and the Ministry of Health". But, why are 55% of family doctors not so sure and staying with FFS, at least for now?

Provincial Health Ministries disregard for the five principles of the Canada Health Act
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In a farewell editorial published in the March 2023 issue of the BC Medical Journal, Dr Brian Day chronicles how the five principles of the Canada Health Act have been disregarded by provincial governments and health ministries across the country. Does this help us understand the sorry state of our medicare system as we see all the media attention related to the nationwide suffering of patients?

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