A taxing situation…


Did you ever wonder why the New Brunswick flag has a picture of a slave galley on it?    It should be fairly obvious, two weeks after Tax Freedom Day.  If not, think about it.  After a while it should start to make perfect sense.

We are all rowing hard to keep up with the myriad of government taxes required to keep the ship of state afloat.   Federal income tax, province income tax, harmonized sales tax, import tax, property tax, fuel tax… it just goes on an on.  Come to think of it, given the stagnant (at best) New Brunswick economy, maybe we should redesign the flag, and replace the oars with bilge pumps.   It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine the NB ship of state making forward progress, but perhaps with a few good cracks of the whip, we can at least keep our feet dry.

Nobody enjoys paying tax, but taxation is a necessary evil… most of the time.   Taxes are needed to pay for what we have come to believe to be essential services.   But, interestingly, taxes even help doctors – among the most well-paid people around – to pay for their Velante EMR system.    Every year from now on, taxpayers will be coughing up $1,500,000 to help keep the bilges dry at the old Velante EMR works, thanks to the new fee for service contract negotiated by the NBMS and the Province.

Outside of the government sanctioned and funded provincial EMR system, there are others who shun the government handouts, and market their own EMR solutions by promoting it on its merits.   A novel thought, and an approach which should be commended.   I heard one of these industrious visionaries on the radio this morning.

Local I.T. entrepreneur Tristan Rutter and his New Brunswick company Populus Global Solutions have made a big splash in health care in four Caribbean countries with a fully-functional but reasonably priced EMR product.   This homegrown product has run into some snags in New Brunswick – not surprisingly – as the NBMS continues to pursue its obsession with an EMR monopoly, while the provincial government washes its hands of the matter.

You can listen to Mr. Rutter here:


The EMR debate, it seems, is not over.

Far from it.





Boxes, little boxes…


Yet another illuminating commentary from the blog KevinMD.com.

This one describes the disaster which awaits when government (or, for that matter, your medical society) decides which EMR you will use, and how you will use it.    The commentary itself is interesting enough, but the comments from readers get to the real heart of the issue.   Doctors are being herded down a narrow path which leads to a place we may not want to go.   People with no clinical experience or medical training are running the show and, at least in the United States, there is not much a mere doctor can do about it.

“Meaningful use” has become the buzzphrase of the EMR world down south.  Perhaps it is time to consider instead “intelligent use.”