VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2011) - BCMA President Dr. Nasir Jetha, is urging BC anesthesiologists not to create unfounded fears amongst British Columbians by issuing media statements about various patient care issues in the province.

"Yesterday's news story linking a baby's death to the lack of availability of an anesthesiologist only serves to alarm expectant mothers and fathers. Clearly, the death of the baby in Victoria is tragic and should be investigated. But the place to raise this issue should not be the evening news, it should be at the hospital," Dr. Jetha said.

Over the last several months the British Columbia Anesthesiologists' Society has been attempting to negotiate additional funding from the government and has actively campaigned in the media to support their cause.

In December 2009, the BCMA negotiated an additional $19 million for anesthesiologists in the province. The Anesthesiologists' Society agreed on how to allocate those funds and all of it was provided to obstetrical anesthesiology. The Society elected not to direct funds to providing dedicated obstetrical anesthesiology services (DOBA) on-site at hospitals.

As part of that agreement, the Society committed not to seek further funding outside of the BCMA negotiations process. The negotiations of the BCMA Physician Master Agreement is currently underway.

While the BCMA fully supports the anesthesiologists of the province and the work they do to provide the very best patient care, it does not believe that statements that tend to undermine confidence and raise the level of public fear ought to be used to support attempts to negotiate government funding for these physicians.

Contact Information:

BC Medical Association
Geraldine Vance