Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you all for coming. This is very valuable.
As background to some of my questioning, I'm an emergency physician. My entire career was in emergency medicine, with the last eight years spent in the inner city of Winnipeg. This kind of subject has been near and dear to my heart, as it has occupied a great deal of my professional time.
Dr. Juurlink, I really appreciated the comments you made about physician prescribing practices. I see people who come in, and we get a computer readout of what they have been prescribed. It astonishes me what people are being prescribed, and when they run out of their medications, they come to the emergency department because they've run out, and they say, “My doctor's office is closed”, or worse, “My doctor is refusing to prescribe these anymore, can you do it?”
We have tried to get interventions from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba to have some sort of prescribing guidelines and restrictions as to how prescribing practices can be more controlled. They have more or less turned a blind eye to it. They say, “Well, no, we're not in the business of just micromanaging how physicians practise medicine.”
Would you think that the colleges, the regulatory agencies in each provinces, could have a greater role in helping to change physician behaviour in prescribing?