Is anybody out there?


As a matter of fact, there is!   This blog has been viewed 4,271 times since it was started in November of last year.   The vast majority of visitors have been from Canada and the USA, but altogether, 33 countries have shown at least some interest in what is going on in the woolygags of New Brunswick.

Who would have thought that there would be so much interest in how New Brunswick is managing – or mismanaging – its medical records program?

The search for extra-provincial intelligence has been quite encouraging!

Here’s a map of our viewers’ geographic distribution.





What’s new, pussycat?


Although I have pretty much given up the fight to get the leadership of the New Brunswick Medical Society to see the folly of their monopoly EMR policy, every so often I come across something so cogent and relevant to the New Brunswick situation that I can’t not share it.

So it is with Woland’s Cat, a blog published by Aussie software engineer Thomas Beale.  I recently stumbled upon his revealing commentary on the concept of open platform, interoperable EMRs, and agree wholeheartedly with his premise that single-vendor monopolies run by profit-driven oligarchs and focused on their exclusionary software packages are doomed to fail, and rack up huge costs in the process.

But don’t take it from me.    I’m not a software engineer, and some of his musings are very likely over the head of a simple country doctor, and DEFINITELY beyond the comprehension of those who hold desperately to the belief that a provincial EMR monopoly represents the best of all possible worlds.

I suggest you read it for yourself.

You can find it here.

It’s the cat’s meow.


Blessed be the apothecaries…

Dr. Mario

Kudos to the New Brunswick Pharmaceutical Society for their groundbreaking and revolutionary initiative to speed up New Brunswickers’ access to prescription medication.   Thanks to the soon-to-be-enacted legislation, pharmacists will be permitted to diagnose and treat a number of common conditions which heretofore required the patient to take the unnecessary and time-consuming step of consulting a doctor.   

Our pharmacists deserve warm praise for their altruism and obvious genuine concern for our overworked doctors, and for putting their shoulders to the wheel and pitching in to help.   Doctors no longer need to fear that their valuable time will be wasted on simple, common conditions, many of which would get better on their own if just given a few days of grandmotherly care.   Now pharmacists will be able to leap into the fray, doling out a variety of reasonably priced prescription drugs to you the consumer, in a wonderful caring environment of one-stop-shopping.   It’s the ultimate in consumer convenience!   
Family doctors are sure to be appreciative of their new-found free time, and will no doubt make wise and judicious use of it by taking on even more complicated, difficult, and time-consuming cases. 
The New Brunswick government of the day deserves no less credit for its role in enabling this forward-thinking legislation.   No longer burdened with diagnosing and treating the humdrum litany of sore throats, warts, and bladder infections, family doctors will have the luxury of spending 30, 40, or more minutes per patient, while still getting paid the same generous fee for each visit.  Meanwhile the Department of Health will be able to radically slash doctor costs, while enhancing our ability to attract even more pharmacists to our province.
Those of you of “a certain age” may recall that in an earlier era New Brunswick doctors would sell medication to patients straight out of their own cupboards.   Fortunately, it was recognized that there could be a teensy-weensy chance that this could be viewed as a conflict of interest – or might be influenced by a profit motive – and so in 2014 the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick generally discourages the practice.   Now, in our new and more enlightened society, pharmacists can do what doctors could not trust themselves to do: they have the ability to self-regulate and, thanks to advanced training in business ethics, are unencumbered by the more venal urges of doctors of bygone times.    
God bless them all!