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Governance

Last chance to save BC's crumbling health care system may rest with the silent majority of physicians defeating the PMA
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Opinion

Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - November 27, 2022.

The BC health care system continues to show larger cracks as it crumbles. Are patients and doctors to believe that the BC NDP Government and the Association of the Doctors of BC have a plan to fix it? You better think again. There is nothing in the Physician Master Agreement (PMA) that is going to fix our health care system. It is not going to restore longitudinal care. It doesn't even pretend to offer a GP for everyone, or even access to timely specialist care or surgery.

While patients are confused as to what will save health care, are doctors blinded by the glitter thrown in their faces? The only hope in sight is if the silent majority of physicians, the seventy percent who don't usually vote, decide this week to cast their vote against the PMA, to Vote "NO" to the PMA, and send a strong message to Government and their own leaders this is not a good fix.

Is BC NDP new legislation poised to politically interfere with licensing of doctors and health professionals?
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Vancouver, BC - November 24, 2022.

 Health Professions and Occupations ActDoes the BC NDP's new legislation: Bill 36 - Health Professions and Occupations Act, introduced on October 19, 2022, set the stage for political interference in the licensing of physicians and other health professionals? Under sections 519 to 532 of the proposed Act, the Cabinet can make changes to the regulations including disciplinary measures, the composition of discipline panels and the oversight of complaints. In BC, will politics trump science when it comes to health professionals?

The Association of the Doctors Of BC has not alerted physicians and the public of problems and concerns related to the new Act. However, social media has been exploding with comments about the recently tabled legislation.

We are in grave danger, we have taken people out of the picture.
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Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - October 17, 2022

It’s about learning, knowledge, sharing and understanding so we can make our society and the world better.

We are in grave danger. Soon those with memories of how things were different will be gone. We will be left at risk of believing the way we do things is the only way.

We have taken people out of the picture. We have become leaders of entities, not leaders of people.

Open letter to the President and President Elect of the CMA
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Dear Dr. Smart and Dr. Lafontaine,

Firstly, let us congratulate you, Dr. Smart, on your advocacy for Canadians and Canadian physicians over the past year.  You have spoken well and kindly, placing the issues besetting health care in Canada before Canadians and the Federal government with admirable clarity.

And having known you for many years Dr. Lafontaine, we have great confidence that you will continue this essential advocacy.

Canadian Medical Association 2022 AGM is fast approaching
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2022 CMA AGM bannerThe Canadian Medical Association (CMA) 2022 AGM is fast approaching. It is to be a virtual event held on Sunday, August 21. There is still time to register until Tuesday, August 16.

What will this year's AGM be like? There have been several posts and comments by physician colleagues on the pages of Doclounge sharing thoughts on issues pertaining to the CMA and the upcoming AGM. Does the Annual Report lack important details? Why are there no detailed minutes from the last AGM for review and approval? Are new proposed Bylaw changes good or bad and why so little discussion?

Canadian Medical Association Board breached principles of natural justice and fairness
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Vancouver Law CourtsDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - May 20, 2022

In a BC Supreme Court Judgment released on April 22, 2022 Justice Nathan Smith found that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Board breached principles of natural justice and procedural fairness when it suspended the membership of Dr Charles Webb denying him the opportunity to run as a candidate in the election for the BC nominee for CMA President-Elect in February 2022.

Time to Re-invent the Canadian Medical Association
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Dr Chris Sedergreen - 29 April 2022

The humiliating defeat of the Canadian Medical Association in the Supreme Court of BC is about as clear a statement as it is possible to make that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is a failed entity, and that it’s present form should be dismantled forthwith.

‘Humiliating defeat’ you ask? Well, you could certainly be forgiven for not knowing about it, since the CMA, the CMA Journal, and the CMA web site have been deathly silent about it.

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.

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.

Documentary "Duty To Document" highlights the erosion of democracy in BC, in Canada, and around the World
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Duty to DocumentThis is a very important and timely documentary illustrating from our own governments in BC and Canada how critical records are disappearing from public view. It highlights the "triple delete scandal" from 2015 when it came to light the BC Government was improperly deleting email records concerning missing and murdered indigenous women along the "Highway of Tears". The documentary illustrates the escalating, troubling trend in the use of post-it notes and the failure to keep records. A trend seen not only in government, but in associations and corporations striking at the heart of transparency and democracy.

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