The first ever Specialists’ Symposium was held on January 18 and 19, 2019, presented jointly by Specialists of BC and the Specialist Services Committee (SSC). There were around 200 participants from most sections, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Doctors of BC. We had small-group discussions on patient access to specialist care, improving patient flow, Patient Medical Home/Primary Care Networks, physician wellness, SSC initiatives, virtual and team-based care, MOH surgical strategy, chronic and complex patients and digital health strategy. In the afternoon a full-group discussion identified and discussed key issues for BC Specialists.
On the second day, Dr Evert Tuyp presented on income disparity. There has been widespread interest from BC Specialists in reducing the income disparity between us. However, it is really difficult to even measure disparity. One idea is to add “error bars” to incomes to mitigate unknowns such as hours worked. We’ll share more about this approach in the future.
Dr Falconer highlighted the “Model Office” being developed by the Doctors of BC. This model may be a way to track overheads between us more easily. More to come on this topic too.
We have had great feedback from the symposium, and hope to see this event become annual.
The final report of the Provincial MOCAP Review Committee (PMRC) on implementing the redesign recommendations revealed about 85% of on-call groups will stay the same, while the remaining groups are equally split between going up or down.
The PMRC surveyed on-call statistics, and judged intensity as well as frequency. Not everyone will agree with the results but hats off to the committee for approaching this thorny issue objectively via consultation. Once any appeals are resolved, the health authorities (HAs) will be asked to implement the report. The HAs have the final say about whether a group is “needed” for call, but there is a dispute resolution process.
The Specialists of BC has a working group composed of section and Representative Assembly reps exploring the interaction of specialists with the PCNs that are being rolled out. These discussions have helped inform SSC and GPSC of issues about PCNs that are important for specialists. Dr Shelley Ross, co-chair of GPSC, recognizes that specialists feel that it is very important that they have a voice in decisions being made around PCNs.
Specialists are also in favour of being able to refer their unattached patients to a PCN as many specialists find themselves with patients who do not have an appropriate primary care provider.
Have you heard about PCNs starting in your community? Do you think a process to support specialists referring patients for attachment to primary care would be beneficial?
The Representative Assembly meeting on February 1, 2019 included a debate on incorporating section and Societies support into Doctors of BC membership dues, with Dr Falconer (pro) and Dr Trina Larsen-Soles (con).
The sections and Societies do a good deal of work for all members, but not all members contribute to funding them. If Doctors of BC dues included support automatically, costs would decrease from $500 to $750 per year per doctor to about $250. Membership in the sections and Societies could still be voluntary but at no cost.
Doctors of BC relies on all doctors contributing to the costs of the broad range of support we receive, either through annual membership dues or non-member administrative fees. Section and Societies support through Doctors of BC would ensure this fairness for them as well.
The Specialists of BC is separate from the SSC and the Doctors of BC, though we work closely with both. We’re a registered non-profit society working for the specialist doctors of the province since 1990, and we rely on your dues to do this work. If you want to support specialists, please join the Specialists of BC now https://www.doctorsofbc.ca/account/dues
The Specialists of BC/SSPS Annual General Meeting is being held the evening of Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Vancouver for members. Mark your calendar and stay tuned!