Doctors of BC, and the BCMA before it, has a history rich in stories and colourful characters. The association has found itself on the pages of the newspapers hundreds of times over the years, but now one of the association’s own stalwarts has chosen to tell the Doctors of BC story from his perspective.
Dr Brad Fritz, who has been a Doctors of BC Board member for nearly 40 years, has written a short history of Doctors of BC since 1965, when BC’s first government-sponsored medicare program was introduced. Based on many interviews and exhaustive research, The BCMA, Then and Now: A Selected History from 1965 to Doctors of BC tells dozens of stories that illustrate how the association became what it is today.
Imagine, for example, that in 1965 negotiations between government and physicians were conducted informally, between two men over a cribbage board. The book traces those modest beginnings through the formation of a negotiations committee, to hiring a professional negotiator, to today, with a sophisticated negotiating structure that looks far beyond physician compensation, instead seeking to positively influence the health care system as a whole.
Other stories include the birth of the association’s involvement in public health advocacy, the purchase of our current building in 1985 (which to this day stands out as a particularly prescient move), the introduction of physician benefits, and the birth of the collaborative committees such as the General Practice Services Committee and Specialist Services Committees in the early 2000s.
Richly illustrated with photos, press clippings, and other archival materials, Dr Fritz’s book The BCMA, Then and Now: A Selected History from 1965 to Doctors of BC is now available on the Doctors of BC website as an interactive PDF.