In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the narrator describes happening upon the rather surreal scene of a French Man-of-War anchored a short distance off the African coastline, incessantly firing round after round from its eight inch cannons into the vegetation beyond the shore. Sometimes, I think to myself, that is how it feels writing this blog. Firing volleys against unseen but palpable foe, and not having much to show for the effort.
My quest is to overturn the covert EMR monopoly established by Velante and the Department of Health. Like it was for the poor French bombardiers, the enemy is poorly defined, constantly moving, shadowy, and deceptive. Military intelligence, so to speak, is spotty and unreliable. Sources of information are contradictory and unpredictable. What is presented as truth and fact one day is found to be fabrication the next. It’s jungle warfare at it’s worst.
Yet I feel compelled to persist. What is at stake is too important to ignore.
It’s about freedom and choice.
It’s about respecting the leadership shown by the forward-thinking and innovative doctors in this province.
It’s about improving patient care.
It’s about saving the taxpayers’ money.
It’s about making New Brunswick a better place for all of us.
So when people tell me that we can only have one EMR vendor, run by a CEO who is also the CEO of the provincial organization which is supposed to represent ALL doctors, and that those doctors who have chosen other EMR software are to be ignored and marginalized, is it any wonder that I cry foul?
This is a clear conflict of interest. By latest reports, only 111 of approximately 1600 doctors in NB have shown unequivocal interest in Velante. Some are being lured by juicy federal subsidies. Some are having their way paid by the government, under the terms of their agreement as salaried doctors. The cost to them is nothing. The cost to taxpayers will be in the tens of thousands for startup, and thousands per year for ongoing maintenance. Per doctor. Forever.
The early adopters, on the other hand, have done it all on there own. No help from the government. No help from the NBMS. In fact, those two august organizations have colluded to attempt to cripple or destroy the systems we have implemented.
So Mister Minister of Health and so, Mr. NBMS CEO, take heed. We are not going away. We are going to continue to fight for our patients and for improved health care in this province. And some day soon, once we have a chance to review the secret terms of the exclusive deal you have concocted, you are going to have some explaining to do.
Fire in the hole!