According to most sieclephiles, 1 January 2001 is the real start of the new millennium, so I suppose this bit of rambling incoherence is more appropriate than the 2000 version. Traditionally at this time of the year, I have attempted to make some sense of the previous year's chaos and in the next breath take editorial arrogance to a new level by extemporaneously predicting what kind of havoc awaits us in the new year. However, before undressing myself in public, and as I write this during the Christmas season, I would like to congratulate all of us North Americans for once again proving that we are the most aquisitive members of the human species to ever have inhabited this planet.
The past year really did live up to most of my expectations, and it should be remembered as the year that doctors and nurses finally realized the enormous power they hold. BC’s doctors have confidently stared down the NDP government and won every confrontation in the past year. The negotiations over the Master Agreement appear to be over, and once again it looks as though we got pretty well what we wanted. In addition, the NDP government has staked its political life on the claim that they are the protectors of medicare, but they have appeared to be very inept stewards by virtually every form of news media in the past 12 months. There were a lot of other events in the past year, most of them involving celebrations surrounding the centenary of the BCMA, and I hope most of us had an opportunity to enjoy a real sense of belonging to something important.
This coming year promises to be extremely interesting as there are going to be significant changes in BC with an election likely in the early spring—an election that promises to wipe the NDP off the political map. However, before we get to enjoy that sight, looming on the near horizon are contract negotiations with most of BC’s health-care unions, and I suppose the last thing the NDP wants is a war with doctors as they approach election Armageddon.
The BCNU has fired off the first shot in their upcoming negotiations and have let everyone know that they want a huge increase in incomes. This makes economic sense as there is a worldwide shortage of nurses (and doctors), and the limited supply puts all of us in the driver’s seat. I think that politicians in this province are finally starting to get the message: if they want to have peace in the health-care business there is only one thing that will guarantee it, and it is spelled M-O-N-E-Y. The system has been starved for the last decade and it is going to cost governments a lot in order to broker a happy, lasting peace with health-care professionals and, one hopes, create a renewed sense of trust in our medical system.
Finally, this month’s issue launches our new logo and our new graphic design. The logo, we think, more appropriately describes who we are, and the new graphics, we think, are not only more clean and crisp, but are significantly more reader-friendly. We hope you agree.
Happy New Year.
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