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Not the only nail in the coffin of democracy at the Canadian Medical Association

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.

Update on CPSBC Bylaw Amendments - Associate Physician

We wish to express our sincere thanks to the more than 600 BC physicians who signed the group response letter in less than 48 hours. The overwhelming response with more than 150 comments expressed strong concerns about the precedent-setting CPSBC Bylaw amendments and the potential detrimental effect on patient safety and the quality of care delivered in BC. Please see our update letter sharing what we have learned and what can be done to help uphold the integrity of physician practice in BC, keeping our patients, communities, and families safe.

Courageous thinking

There is no definitive history of medicine in BC, there are only perspectives.

For some of us, living and practicing through portions of that history, certain elements may stand out for their significance.

One, that stands out to me, is the loss of courageous thinking. Not simply repeating what has been concluded by others or committee but truly independent thinking. Fresh eyes and a fresh mind.

After all isn't that what doctors learned as students?

President Eric Cadesky's report on the 2018 CMA Summit and General Council

2018 CMA Summit pictureDr Eric Cadesky, DoctorsOfBC President, in his president's blog reports on the 2018 CMA meeting in Winnipeg that just recently wrapped up.

He shares,  "In past years, the CMA’s General Council meeting (GC) – the 'medical parliament of Canada' –focused on doctors debating motions on evolving and important topics ... the CMA this year instead organized a two-day Health Summit comprised of speakers and panel discussions. ... As is usual, the federal health minister attended, but was interviewed by a non-physician rather than giving a speech, and while she repeatedly stated she was “here to listen” she did not take any questions from the audience ... followed by the CMA’s Annual General Meeting and a pared-down GC without motions; many felt there was not enough time to debate the proposed changes to CMA governance and the Code of Ethics and Professionalism."

2018 Doctors of BC President-Elect election debate

2018-05-14 Vancouver, BC Dr Z. Essak, MD2018 DoBC President Elect Debate

A must see. The 2018 Annual Dr Jim Busser Memorial election debate was live video streamed on May 9 and can be viewed anytime through the Vancouver Medical Association website (link below).

Kudos to Dr Charles Webb for keeping alive the memory and spirit of Dr Jim Busser. Kudos also to the moderator Dr Arun Garg encouraging questions and kudos to the participants present and remote for asking questions.

Beyond the opening formalities it gets interesting as questions are asked on what more should we be doing for future physicians, the lack of access, what are the main problems, use of allied professionals and physician extenders.

Dr. McDonnell on the History of Medicine in BC

This was included as part of another post on but may be more useful as a separate post, especially for history buffs.

In particular the article attached, [6] McDonnell - Early medical legislation

The full series of 12 articles by Dr. McDonnell on the History of Medicine in BC may be of interest to readers and can be obtained from public library resources and other libraries:

Will BC doctors do something before it's too late?

Doctors hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing.Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - September 9, 2017.

There are a lot of calamities in the world today grabbing our attention so why is this important now?

This directly affects our BC health care system, which has slipped from being one of the best in the world to below the top ten. You don't have to tell patients and families who need care, they already see the cracks and hurdles everyday as they wait and hope to get the care they need.

What is happening this week at the BC Medical Association, the Doctors of BC, is critical. They are a well-funded, important organization that negotiates on behalf of all doctors with the BC Government and co-managing public health care. This affects not only doctors but patients and everyone in BC. It cannot be ignored.

Doctors may have become apathetic and cynical with low professional satisfaction as they feel overworked and struggle trying to get people the care they need. However, now is a critical time for them to consider these important facts. If they don't act now things may get a lot worse.

Dr Eric Cadesky becomes new President-Elect Doctors Of BC

Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - July 26, 2017.

Congratulations to Dr Eric Cadesky on winning the election for President-Elect of the Doctors Of BC, the BC Medical Association.

It has been an interesting campaign with opportunities to get to know both candidates, Dr Eric Cadesky and Dr Jean-Noel Mahy, through not only their websites but also meeting them in person at the debate and for everyone to see them on the YouTube live stream and recorded video of the debate.

Seeing both candidates making such efforts to promote thought and discussion about health care in BC it is disappointing that only 16 percent of doctor members even voted.

Dr. James Busser

DrBusser-tweetsI enjoyed the privilege of attending the celebration of the life of the late Jim Busser on this Friday past. I was already aware that he had been an exceptional human being, yet it was a remarkable revelation to listen to the recollections of those who rose to speak of their connections with him. 

VMA and WMA hosting debate July 12 with President Elect candidates

The VMA website, has a notice of a Special Event on July 12, 2017 featuring the candidates for DoctorsOfBC President Elect, Dr Cadesky and Dr Mahy, with Dr Arun Garg as moderator.

The event will be held at the Seasons in the Park at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver with pre-dinner cocktails at 17:30, dinner at 18:30 and the debate from 19:30 to 21:00.

The deadline to register for this event is Wednesday July 5th. I think this will be a very interesting event to attend.

With limited seats available I am happy to have mine confirmed and would encourage others interested in attending in person to get their reservations in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment or the risk of forgetting to register in time with the long weekend almost upon us followed by a short week that is bound to be busy as the deadline to register approaches.

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