groups and governments that try to influence the news occasionally
foreshadow an event by releasing a bit of news the day before
the event. In that spirit the Vancouver
Board of Trade posted a "health clock" to
the top of its website on Monday in anticipation of its
Tuesday conference titled "Check Up 2007: Options and
Opportunities for Better Health Care in British Columbia".
The Board's clock, similar to the debt clock it popularized
in the 1990s, is not new; the Conversation on Health's website
carries a similar clock. The only difference is the Board
of Trade's clock purports to count the amount spent on health
care in B.C. today while the Conversation's clock says it
is counting the amount spent since the viewer logged onto
its site. You could replace health spending with any other
item of expenditure from food to the military and it would
be equally meaningless. Of course, most industries would
consider it a success if spending on their product or service
increased, but since government took charge of health insurance
it seems to be a problem to spend so as to satisfy demand
when it comes to health care.
Campbell is the noon hour speaker at the Board's conference.
It appears that he can find room in his schedule for his
usual boosters even though his schedule didn't permit his
attendance at the Kamloops forum on the Conversation on
Health. Some speculated that the prospect of demonstrations
turned Campbell away; not much prospect of that amongst
the Board of Trade crowd at the Hyatt. I will be in attendance
to hear what is said and give readers of StrategicThoughts
my perspective on not only the Premier's remarks but also
a host of other interesting presenters, including the Vancouver
Coastal Health Authority's CEO, Ida Goodreau, who will be
part of a panel commenting on remarks about how the US Veterans
Health Administration is run.
at the panel should not be judged by the way the Board of
Trade is spinning the issue with its health clock. Immediately
prior to the Premier's presentation, Glenda Yeates, President
and CEO, of the Canadian Institute for Health Information
will speak on the topic "TOMORROW'S TRENDS TODAY: Future
Forces and Challenges Shaping Health Care". As leader
of Canada's watchdog on health statistics, Yeates knows
better than anyone that the projection of health spending
reaching 70% of total provincial spending by 2017 is nonsense.
Hopefully she will set a tone that will put the Campbell
government's clock message in perspective while focusing
on resource consumption in health care relative to the economy's
ability to provide resources. She's unlikely to touch the
political hot potato of how a society can afford tax cuts
while saying that it cannot afford health care, but we might
hear the Premier repeat remarks on that theme like those
he made at the last BC Liberal Convention.
tuned for a full report on the Board of Trade Conference
which is co-sponsored by the UBC
Centre for Health Care Management whose colleagues just
across campus at the Centre
for Health Services and Policy Research are sponsoring
another heath conference on February 22nd at the Bayshore.
Ida Goodreau is also listed as a confirmed
speaker for that conference. Your scribe will also attend
and report here on that conference.