Fall 2004

E x e c u t i v e   d i r e c t o r ' s   m e s s a g e
Physician input essential as new “health deal” unfolds
 
Now that a “new health deal” between the federal government and provinces has been signed, the drama of the First Ministers Conference on Health will shift from Ottawa to provincial capitals.

by Robert Ritter

     Now that a “new health deal” between the federal government and provinces has been signed, the drama of the First Ministers Conference on Health will shift from Ottawa to provincial capitals. The cast of characters will also change. Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, Premier Williams will assume the position previously held by the Prime Minister and the premiers will be replaced by the stakeholders of the health care system. Instead of the three-day marathon, the next scenes will be played out over weeks and months.
     Although the infusion of new federal money to our health system will be welcome, it will not be enough to meet the future needs of this province. Steps taken by the government to extract maximum efficiency from the system are already underway by streamlining the administrative infrastructure. Once these measures are in place, government attention will most certainly be shifted to how and where health services will be organized and delivered. This will likely not be an entirely painless exercise. At the same time, the Memorandum of Agreement** between the government and the NLMA is entering its final year.
     The health care system of this province is at a crucial juncture and it is imperative that we engage government in a forthright and organized fashion over the next year. Our ability to represent members and to serve the public interest effectively is directly related to your active involvement. During the next three months, we will be turning to all our members for your input and ideas. A number of special arrangements are being put into place to ensure that our consultation with members is thorough and timely. You will be hearing a great deal more over the next few weeks.
     The NLMA understands the fiscal challenges of our province and is committed to cooperating with the government in pursuit of its goals for a stable and prosperous future. Over the last three years we have made important strides to better anchor the medical workforce in Newfoundland and Labrador. We will need to continue moving forward with the same spirit of goodwill and compromise — on both sides.

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Nexus
Nexus DEFINED
A connected group or series; a bond, a connection.

Nexus is published quarterly for Newfoundland and Labrador's physicians. It is a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and information for members.