Doctors are next

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 43 , No. 6 , July August 2001 , Pages 316 Editorials

A few years ago I made an important mental-health maintenance decision. I decided to get off the emotional roller-coaster ride our politicians love to take us on whenever the BC electorate decides to give the incumbent majority a royal butt-kicking. The new group, flushed with their sense of importance and newfound power, grasping their list of election promises in upraised, victorious mitts, have always driven my optimism and almost carnal desire for change to new heights. However, reality quickly dampens the enthusiasm of novice health ministers within a few heartbeats. I think we will see our shiny new health minister demonstrating the strained “what the hell have I got myself into” look of all the previous ones in short order. The terrible disrepair of the medical system, with important infrastructure and new technology gaps coupled with serious labor unrest among nurses and allied health professionals, will require a huge injection of cash to fix.

The doctors are next, and if Victoria thinks the docs are going to make life easy for them in our negotiations, I have a prescription for major delusional disorder already written.

Behind all of this is the looming labor crisis that everyone is predicting if workable solutions are not achieved in short order. The new government seems to have bought into the need to increase the size of the medical school, as well as to increase training positions for nurses and other allied health professionals. But are the teachers going to be happy? The negotiations have been strained, with some acrimony, but it now appears the two sides are close to reaching a consensus. We can only hope that the two sides remain amicable and we can all stop worrying about wholesale walkouts.

It seems once again that one of the possible pieces to the solution puzzle for this huge, seemingly unmanageable group of interrelated problems is to fully explore the possibility of partnerships with the business community. How much longer can we allow our health care system to continue its inexorable decline? I hope we wake up and look at all alternatives, especially the most politically unappealing ones, before it’s too late.

—JAW

James A. Wilson, MD. Doctors are next. BCMJ, Vol. 43, No. 6, July, August, 2001, Page(s) 316 - Editorials.



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