Fall 2010

p e r s p e c t i v e s
News from General Council


CMA Photo

 

Dr. Susan King

Our NLMA executive and others, like me, are not long back from Niagara Falls and the CMA annual meeting. It was an interesting meeting and all the up-alongers are excited about coming our way next year when we will host the meeting.

by Dr. Susan King

It sure is hard to say ‘Cheeri-o’ to summer. Hope you all managed to get a bit of a rest and can enjoy what may be an Indian summer — ya gotta love them. Our NLMA executive and others, like me, are not long back from Niagara Falls and the CMA annual meeting. It was an interesting meeting and all the up-alongers are excited about coming our way next year when we will host the meeting. John Haggie, general and vascular surgeon from Gander, officially became the President-Elect and will become the President of the CMA here in St. John’s next August. John served us well when he was our CMA board rep; he is very well suited for the job and will be a president we can all be proud of. I look forward to working with him over the next two years as I complete my term as NLMA rep on the CMA Board of Directors. The big project now at the CMA is the Health Care Transformation Project. You may have been too busy with work or hopefully having some summer time away from medicine to know much about it; if I wasn’t involved I’m sure I wouldn’t know but it was fit to eat. If that’s the case for you, let me fill you in. Over the summer, the CMA released a major policy document: Health Care Transformation in Canada. Change that Works, Care that Lasts. It was overwhelmingly accepted by CMA delegates at the recent meeting. The report has received significant attention from the media, governments, proponents and critics alike. Its concepts are both simple and complex. We Canadians value our health care system; it is an icon of our culture and we are proud of it. Yet we, the doctors of Canada, see every day the increasing strain and eroding of our ability to continue to care for the health needs of our population. The paper is divided into three parts: The Problem, Our Vision and The Framework. The Framework describes the actions needed for change, under five pillars. It outlines ways in which our system can improve efficiency and outcomes while balancing the need for improved health care with that of other very important yet competing areas such as education and social programs. As an example, one of the ideas put forth is that of having health care dollars follow the patient. This happens now in fee-for-service; a doctor is paid only when a patient is seen. This is not so for hospitals and other institutions where currently patients are consumers of services and therefore an expense. This change in funding would have institutions paid for the services they provide, thereby making patients a revenue source; there would then be an inherent drive to find and minimize inefficiencies. The framework also calls for incentives and rewards for achieving valued outcomes.

Website to check out

Of course I can’t leave without news of a nifty website. Ever wish someone could email you a reminder on a certain day? This site allows you to email yourself at a future date (great to remember Secretaries — oops — Administrative Professional’s Day, especially since you can’t really ask your secretary to do it now can you!) Go to EmailFuture.com. By the way, in 2011 it’s April 27th !

Dr. Susan King is a family physician at the Newfoundland Drive Family Practice in St. John’s. Tips and hints may be emailed or faxed to (709) 726-7525.

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Articles

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Advice for politicians on improving long-term care

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