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Wednesday, 15 August, 2007

New CMA prez Dr Brian Day already making waves

Dr Brian Day doesn't become president of the Canadian Medical Association until next week, but he's already stirring up controversy.

On Monday, he told the Toronto Star -- a task that he believes, as he likes to repeat loudly and often, is best accomplished by introducing an accountability clause to the Canada Health Act and allowing patients to seek care in the private sector if wait-times benchmarks aren't met.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, since his election last year, appears to have changed his opinion on this debate; he used to advocate greater involvement of the private sector much like Dr Day does now, but after he arrived in Ottawa he has become (outwardly, at least) a more ardent defender of healthcare. The same is true of health minister Tony Clement who seems to be trying to shed his "Two-Tier Tony" nickname.

"[Mr Harper] doesn't understand the financing of the healthcare system," Dr Day scoffed.

Dr Day also appears in this week's edition of the CMAJ, in a friendly interview with Wayne Kondro entitled "." In the space of several hundred words, Dr Day manages to turn a biographical interview into a mouthpiece for two of his pet projects: patient-focused funding (see Canadian Medicine's ) and private delivery of healthcare.

NRM featured Brian Day on the cover last November in a Q&A called "." He talked about taking the same bus as the Beatles when they were schoolboys, his father's murder, and hanging out with Fidel Castro.

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