Spring is often a time of refresh – spring cleaning, planting the garden, setting up the patio, filing taxes (perhaps not the last one). This spring, the ACFP Board also starts the process of refreshing the organization’s strategic plan. Our current 3-year plan (click here to see our 2017-2019 plan) is due for review and renewal to allow a launch of an updated plan for 2020. There has been much work over the past few years to provide quality education, primary care leadership, and advocacy and we hope to continue these efforts going forward. However, a strategic plan process enables us to ensure the organization is aware and incorporating the ever-changing landscape into our work moving forward.
Having recently attended the Institute of Health Care Improvement Summit in the United States, I had the opportunity to see the work that has been done in other parts of the world to advance patient care, including moves to team-based care and integration efforts within health systems — similar conversations to those we are having in our province. I also had the opportunity to see some of the drawbacks of a largely private system with multiple variables impacting the funding and delivery of health care. It creates an appreciation that although our system is not perfect, there is much in it that benefits our patients and society as a whole and the importance of preserving and improving the system we have. We all have a role in creating system change and system improvements and this is part of the conversation that will need to be had going forward.
I invite our fellow members to share any thoughts you may have with us at ACFP2020@acfp.ca, an email we have established to allow you to communicate with us about our strategic plan — what we do well, what the organization should consider, and your thoughts and ideas to improve the system we have so it continues to serve our patients for years and generations to come. The broad conversations will help us see where our short- and medium-term goals should lie. I look forward to your thoughts and we will be sure to share our planning developments with you later in the year.
Vishal Bhella, MD, CCFP
Alberta College of Family Physicians