The end of the year is a wonderful time to reflect on the past year’s challenges and accomplishments. I am particularly proud of what the CMPA has achieved this year, despite the challenges we continue to face in an increasingly complex healthcare environment.
In January, we launched our 2015-2019 Strategic Plan and I am pleased that we are already seeing tangible results. Through this plan, the CMPA will continue to use its expertise and knowledge to contribute to safe medical care and reduce patient harm. Last year, over 26,000 physicians and other healthcare providers attended the CMPA’s educational sessions, and tens of thousands accessed risk management information in our publications and on our website.
The CMPA has long been engaged in championing safe care initiatives. To further advance safe care, we realize that we need to do more than provide risk management information: we must encourage and support others in addressing system-level issues. For example, working in partnership with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, among others, we have started a multi-year initiative to improve the safety of obstetrical care. I am confident that this will reduce the number of compromised infants as well as the significant costs associated with providing care for them.
We have also been laying the groundwork for refining our assistance in College, hospital, and other matters, which we expect to roll out in 2016. This support model will be focused on mutuality and proportionality and on achieving the best possible outcomes for members.
Continuing increases in the cost of providing medical liability protection place pressure on the CMPA’s financial position and the fees we collect. We are committed to maintaining equity in membership fees and, as we have done before, we have evolved our fee model to reflect changes in the medical-legal environment. As a consequence, the former Rest of Canada fee region was divided into two separate regions: British Columbia and Alberta; and Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Atlantic provinces and the Territories. This new regional fee structure reflects both increasingly divergent cost trends and our willingness to change with the times to ensure continued member equity.
The CMPA is committed to containing medical liability protection expenditures. We are working with governments and healthcare partners to reduce costs while protecting the interests of physicians and their patients.
The CMPA contributes to an effective healthcare system by enabling physicians to deliver care with the confidence that their interests and those of their patients are protected. This supports safe medical care and the prevention of harm. I look forward to the launch of our new corporate brand identity in 2016, which will provide a clear and consistent understanding of what the CMPA stands for. As an essential component of the Canadian healthcare system, we are committed to acting in a manner that reflects the strong ethical values of the profession. I look forward to furthering this understanding with our stakeholders in the coming year.
Hartley Stern, MD, FRCSC, FACS