The CMPA: "Striking the proper balance"

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The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)'s most recent Perspective magazine has, on the cover, an article entitled The right test at the right time: Striking the proper balance (read here).

This is the first time I've seen the organization, which provides medico-legal advice, education, and assistance to its paying physician members, tackle the subject head-on. They have indirectly contributed to this body of knowledge in the past, exploring the concept of 'defensive medicine' and providing references for physicians dealing with the question of providing futile medical care, for example.

For the CMPA to open this article by emphasizing "fiscal prudence" shows that the organization has the freedom to comment in a way that other Canadian organizations find politically uncomfortable. Many others, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) included, suggest that improved cost will be a result of appropriate care though it is not considered a guiding factor.

The reality is that we all want the same thing: better care for patients, less risk, and a lower cost so that we can sustain high-quality care. Hearing the same message from such a diverse array of medical, political, and citizen groups – in Canada and around the world – breeds hope that we are getting closer to creating the system we envision.