Dr. Brian Day @DrBrianDay Twitter

  • Past President Canadian Medical Association
  • Past President Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Honourary Associate Professor University of British Columbia
  • 2014 Doctors of BC Don Rix Leadership Award

BCMA nominates Dr. Brian Day for CMA president elect

Feb 15, 2006

CKNW Radio
Bill Good: BC doctors have elected Dr Brian Day as their nominee as 2007-2008 president elect of the Canadian Medical Association. Dr. Day joins us now. Dr. Day, good morning.

Brian Day: Good morning Bill.

Bill Good: Congratulations.

Brian Day: Thank you.

Bill Good: You still have to be affirmed by members of the CMA, correct?

Brian Day: Correct, yes, it's BC's turn to nominate the president of the Canadian Medical Association. It comes around about every 10 years. There is a process whereby the delegates at the annual meeting (there are between two or three hundred of them) have to support that [nomination]. Usually they do, it's feasible that they could not, but it would be very unusual.

Bill Good: Now, you have been known for a long time as a proponent of change, an agent of change, you're proponent of more private delivery of public health care. The last BC president of the CMA, as I recall, is Dr. Victor Dirnfeld, and he had similar thoughts, did he not?

Brian Day: Yes, and I think the timing is right now. Victor Dirnfeld, in many ways, was very prophetic in what forecast because he said, ten years ago or so, [that] this was not sustainable and things are going from bad to worse, and of course he's right. We now have 2 million Canadians waiting for health care in our system. Some of those Canadians, in the words of the Supreme Court of Canada, are suffering and dying while they wait. This is clearly unacceptable for a rich Western democracy like we have. To have a World Health Organization ranking of 30th in the world is completely unacceptable. Basically, what's happened is governments have let this system deteriorate to the point that it's no longer working and something has to be done about it. A study just released a few weeks ago show that 65% of children area waiting a medically unacceptable period of time. Well, to me, that's really unacceptable, and we have to change.

Bill Good: Now you know the NDP and the health unions are going to label this a move toward "American style" care.

Brian Day: Well of course that's been their strategy all along and I'm very pleased to see in the throne speech that it has been opened up and revealed as a strategy, really, to mask what we should be looking at. The United States is ranked 37th in the world, so why would the 30th ranked system [that Canada has] want to copy the 37th ranked? No. We're looking to copy those systems near the top of the rankings by the World Health Organization like France, Belgium and Switzerland, where there are no waits, in the public or the private system. I am not a proponent of privatizing the health system, I want a strong public system, it's just that I happen to believe that a state-run monopoly is not the best way to run anything, let alone a health care system.