Dr. Brian Day @DrBrianDay Twitter

  • Past President Canadian Medical Association
  • Past President Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Honourary Associate Professor University of British Columbia
  • 2014 Doctors of BC Don Rix Leadership Award

Health Care Quotes

A collection of notable quotes relating to Canadian Health Care.

"Physicians in BC control their own wait lists. Health authorities do not control wait lists either, but do attempt to ensure that physicians are administering them appropriately. Patients on wait lists can opt to be treated by a different physician who can see them more quickly. Their family physician can refer them to a physician elsewhere in BC or Canada. If patients are waiting too long for treatment and suffering harm as a result, it’s mostly because doctors aren’t making the right decisions."

"Patients shouldn’t experience unnecessary or unreasonable pain or suffering if treating physicians exercise their professional judgement appropriately. Doctors are supposed to assess, treat and prioritize patients according to their medical conditions, if patients suffered, it was because of decisions made by, and actions taken or not taken by their treating physicians."

Official government response to constitutional challenge (blaming patients and doctors for health system's woes and absolving themselves of all responsibility)
Sir William Osler

"Personally, I do not see in Canada it would be a feasible thing if any Ministry organized taking over both the Health and the Disease of the entire community... even in the most favourable circumstances... there would be that absence of competition and that sense of independence... I do not believe it would be good for the profession or good for the Public."

Sir William Osler in a speech to the Medical Society of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (1918)
Dr. J.H MacDermot

"...our noble tradition that no sick person of any age, sex, race or religion whatsoever, shall ever suffer for need of medical care on account of poverty or any other cause...should be based on our willingness to give, and should be construed as an act of our charity. It should not be exploited: nor should it be assumed as a God-given right by way of its beneficiaries. Least of all should it be a right-of-way for needy and penurious governmental and administrative bodies."

Dr. J.H MacDermot Osler lecture (1939)
Dalton McGuinty

"There will come a time when the Ministry of Health is the only Ministry we can afford to have and we still won't be able to afford the Ministry of Health"

Dalton McGuinty Premier of Ontario
Supreme Court of Canada

"The evidence shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread and patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care"

Supreme Court of Canada June, 2005
Supreme Court of Canada

"The courts have a duty to rise above political debate"

Supreme Court of Canada June, 2005
Jonathan Lomas

"I think we have to be very careful about empowering the consumer because they will make choices that are not in their own health interest"

Jonathan Lomas, Executive Director, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (a $100 million plus tax supported non profit agency)
Regina Herzlinger

"When consumers apply pressure on an industry, whether it's retailing or banking, cars or computers, it invariably produces a surge of innovation that increases productivity, reduces prices, improves quality and expands choices. The essential problem with the health care industry is that it has been shielded from consumer control - by employers, insurers and the government. As a result, costs have exploded as choices have narrowed"

Regina Herzlinger Harvard Business Review, 2002
David J. Dandy

"In fact, the Canadian health care system is perhaps the most rigid and oppressive (to physicians) within the free world."

David J. Dandy Vice President, Royal College of Surgeons of England

"In the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada decision (Chaoulli-Zeliotis), the Canadian Medicare system is about to be redesigned. Physicians must not just sit at the table, but must position themselves at the head, where they can lead and direct the nature of that design."

Dr. Brian Day

"When it comes to physicians there is a common thread that is a major barrier to solving our concerns. We are divided. The result is a divide and conquer scenario, in which we negotiate as adversaries, first with government and then with one another about our relative worth, while the "conqueror" observes and continues to rule."