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General News · 11th September 2010
John Kristensen MD
The latest statement from the CCHA unfortunately, resonated with a disquieting tone of non conciliation towards Dr. Overhill.

I would like to address several points that the writer made: firstly, the money matter is stated incorrectly. The $293,000 represents the gross payments to the physician but the $230,000 does not represent the net income. There are many other expenses incurred beyond clinic costs such as malpractice insurance, licensing fees, mandatory professional memberships, mandated continuing medical education (CME), travel costs associated with CME’s, subscription to medical journals and electronic medical information, computers, palms, and cell phones, and personal medical equipment and drug dispensary. This rapidly becomes tens of thousands of dollars of additional expense before a 50% tax debit. What is left is the net income. There is inadequate information to determine if the stated payments are competitive with other BC small towns. Most importantly is the question of how many hours of after office calls are expected from this solo practitioner. The 40 days off are standard for a type A rural community such as Cortes.

Secondly, the frustrated vents of the CCHA writer at unsuccessful negotiations with Dr. Overhill Ltd. reflects more on the debating skills of the writer than on the doctor’s shortcomings. This is a completely non logical issue and does not warrant retaliation and refusal to rehire. Statements such as these reveal an intolerance and bias in the judgment of the CCHA leadership.

Bring a neutral party onboard for an impartial mediation now!

Thirdly, the introduction of an electronic medical record (EMR) when a permanent physician is not in place will lead to serious immediate problems. An EMR system should be started with doctor input. This is especially true for the one provided by VIHA. I have worked with this antiquated system and it is not a good system. I assure you that it will lead to delays and frustration for both patients and doctor. There are good EMR systems available but this is not one of them. Is the CCHA board really capable of making such choices or have they exceed their level of expertise?

Why do I keep feeling that the clinic and medical practice has been hijacked by self serving bureaucrats whose goal is to have their way regardless of consequences to the community and to Dr. Overhill? Rationales are clearly entrenched in opposition to giving her an opportunity to work with the new clinic model and to a fair impartial treatment after a period of illness. What a shame for us all that we are stuck here. A general meeting could only help us move forward.

John Kristensen