Michael Rachlis MD

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U of M Faculty of Medicine convocation

16 May 2010, 4:00 AM

On May 13, 2010, my Alma Mater, the University of Manitoba granted me an honorary degree (LLD, honoris causa) at the Faculty of Medicine convocation. You can read a copy of my address to the graduates here. In doing some research for my speech, I discovered that 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Tommy Douglas’s arrival in Canada from Scotland. His family settled in Winnipeg.

Here is a picture of me with my companions at a dinner at the Manitoba Club on May 12th. Grant Mitchell is an old friend and Winnipeg lawyer extraordinaire. Evelyn is one of the world’s most knowledgeable persons on health and social policy for the elderly and was an important mentor to me in medical school. Joel Kettner is Manitoba’s chief public health officer and an old friend from medical school student politics.

Front row from left: Me, Professor Emeritus Evelyn Shapiro, Dr. Joel Kettner

Back row from left: Grant Mitchell, University of Manitoba President Dr. David Barnard, Dean of Medicine Dr. Dean Sandham.

Filed under Presentations, Travel

Primary Health Care Meeting in Southey, SK

6 March 2010, 5:00 AM

On March 3rd, I had the delight of speaking at a meeting on primary health care in Southey Saskatchewan. Southey is located about 80 km north of Regina. Despite a blizzard on the way from Regina to Southey, there were 160 people there from as far away as Yorkton (230 km East) and Maple Creek (460 km West). Here is my presentation from that day. And, here is a picture of me with some of the organizers. Well done all!

From left: Fiona Bishop VP Saskatchewan Federation of Union Retirees, Betty Pickering President Saskatchewan Federation of Union retirees, Holly Schick, executive director Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism, me


Filed under Meetings, Presentations, Travel

Happy Valentine's Day!

14 February 2010, 5:00 AM

I had a magnificent trip to Sweden Jan 8-17, 2010. I was speaking to groups of social democratic politicians about Canadian health policy. I got know a lot of Swedes, from all political perspectives. I started off in Stockholm where I spoke to some national politicians and county level politicians who are responsible for doctors and hospitals and a fair bit of community services. There are 22 Swedish counties and their responsibilities include health care, transportation and culture. They don’t have the regionalism you see in Canada or Spain. It’s a much more homogeneous country. There are non-white faces in Stockholm but not much outside.

After three days in Stockholm, I went to Uppsala 80 km north of Stockholm where my main hosts live. I met the Uppsala County social democratic health committee in October 2008 when they Ire touring Toronto. They have an annual meeting with social democratic party health care committees from five counties around Stockholm and I was the keynote speaker. One of the interesting things I noticed was the dislike of the capital (Stockholm) by the regional folks, much the way all Canadians seem to carry a dislike for Toronto as the home of the place with the money. The conference was held at a 13th century castle just outside of Uppsala.

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Filed under Presentations, Travel

Thoughts about Alberta and activity based funding

25 October 2009, 4:51 PM

After being home for a week from my trip to Alberta speaking on behalf of Friends of Medicare, I have a few reflections:

Activity-based funding

Alberta is moving to pursue a policy named “activity-based funding”. Essentially ABF is fee for service payment for hospital care. Hospitals would be paid a specific free for an episode of care such as a hip replacement. The United States government moved most of its hospital funding through their Medicare program into Diagnosis Related Groups or DRGs in 1983.

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Filed under Travel, Wait Times

It's the Wild Rose West: My week in Alberta

19 October 2009, 1:48 AM

I got back Saturday (the 17th) after a fun week in Alberta. I spoke to a number of events organized by Alberta Friends of Medicare. There were over 500 people who attended a raucous public meeting at the Polish Hall in Edmonton on Tuesday night. See the coverage in the Edmonton Journal. Kudos to Dave Eggen Friends of Medicare coordinator, Della Drury his campaign worker, economist Diana Gibson, research director at the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute who also spoke, and dozens of other folks who helped organize the meeting.

On Wednesday morning Dave Eggen and I flew to Calgary but our plane to Medicine Hat was cancelled because of snow so we rented a car and started our southern Alberta road trip. We had a wonderful crowd of 150 that night. Thanks so much to Jan Bunney chair of the Medicine Hat Chapter of Friends. It’s an amazing group of folks. Amongst other things they participate in Medicare Mondays where they go to places like Tim Horton’s and talk to people about health care in their community. Here’s a picture of Dave Eggen, Jan Bunney, and me.

Then it was on to Lethbridge where Michael Cormican and his chapter organized a terrific meeting Thursday night at Southminster Church.

We drove to Calgary on Friday morning where I talked to a meeting of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta.

I will be writing up my analysis of my Alberta trip in the next few days but you can read the op ed I wrote before the trip here. It is quite frightening how quickly Alberta seems to be eroding the public system.

Filed under Meetings, Presentations, Travel

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