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​Retiring CMA president calls for physician innovation

Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti says Canada’s health care system has a lesson to learn from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

In his valedictory speech as president, Francescutti reported that change in areas such as governance, accountability and transparency has been happening at an unprecedented rate throughout the association. “Members have been saying ‘Let’s do something different,’” said Francescutti, who made it clear the CMA has followed through.

He said the amount and pace of change at the CMA during his year in office had been “remarkable” — and now it is time for the health care system to follow suit.

Francescutti said physicians can help make this possible not only by pursuing innovation within their practices but also by making Canadians aware of these efforts. He said the CMA wants to assist: it will soon launch a website that will allow physicians to publicize innovative steps being taken in practices across the country. “This will give us the success stories we need,” he said.

His message about the need for innovation meshed with the one delivered to General Council by federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose a day earlier.

Francescutti stressed that the medical profession faces major challenges because of growing public skepticism about its role, and argued that Canadians’ perception of physicians as leaders within the health care system has “dropped precipitously” over the past decade. “We can’t sit by idly and think things are OK.”

He concluded on a positive note, saying that it had been an “incredible honour to serve as your president — you are the most collegial group I have ever worked with.”

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