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DocTalk

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?

More than 10,000 people sign petition to repeal BC's Bill 36
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Vancouver, BC - February 13, 2023.

More than ten thousand people sign petition opposing Bill 36A petition to repeal BC's Bill 36 - Health Professions and Occupations Act has already gathered more than 10,800 signatures. It was presented to the BC Parliament when the session resumed earlier this month. More signatures are still being collected and will be presented to the House later. It is already one of the largest petitions introduced to the BC Legislature.

Request for the Doctors Of BC to send package to all doctors offices to repeal Bill 36.
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The next Board meeting of the Association of Doctors of BC is on Friday January 27. Doctors throughout BC who are concerned about Bill 36 can send an email request to the President and the Board to prepare and send a package to all doctors offices with a poster and the petition to repeal Bill 36. Here is a suggested email that doctors can use or modify.

It's time for all doctors and the Association of Doctors of BC to show their leadership and strength. If the Board adopts the motion to send the package that will be a good thing for everyone in BC, patients and doctors. If the Board refuses to address such a request, the member doctors will have their answer on the substance of the Board.

The paradox of privacy and security
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While privacy and security are a priority for people these days, the things they do to protect themselves may actually undermine it.

With all the spam phone calls, and even text messages, some people have been looking at installing a variety of apps to identify who the caller is. There are quite a few apps for this, but before you leap to installing one take a look at how they work and how it may affect you and your community of contacts in your phone.

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.

What do Family Doctors do?
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Family doctor with patient combo, Norman Rockwell painting and photoDr Carmen Eadie, Vancouver BC, Sep 4, 2022.

The biggest problem with being a Family Doctor is that no one knows exactly what we do. We are involved in so many aspects of a person’s life that the lens is not clear to other people.

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Cease fire banner, you don't speak for the people.