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Brian Day, MRCP (UK), FRCS (Eng), FRCS (C), (born c. 1947) is a physician in Canadamarker and was the 2007-2008 president of the Canadian Medical Association. He is known as Dr. Profit by opponents and Dr. Prophet by supporters for his advocacy of a role for private health care. He is the first orthopaedic surgeon in the 141 year history of the CMA to be elected president.

Early life

Day was raised in Toxteth, a working-class area, of post-war Liverpoolmarker, Englandmarker. He was one of five children in a family with strong Labour views. Both his mother and father were socialists.

The area could be tough. He has a permanent scar on a finger from a knife fight when he was 10 years old. His father, a pharmacist, was killed in the mid-80s by a hooligans looking for drugs.

He was one of very few students from his elementary school who went to university.Day attended the Liverpool Institute, the same high school as Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

Early medical career

He obtained post-graduate qualifications in Britain, in both internal medicine and general surgery, and in 1978 completed his training and a M.Sc. degree at the University of British Columbiamarker in Vancouvermarker, Canadamarker.

In 1979, Day received the Canadian Orthopaedic Association's Edouard Samson Award, for outstanding orthopaedic research in Canada. Following a fellowship in traumatology, in Baselmarker, Switzerlandmarker, Oxfordmarker, and Los Angelesmarker, he began practice at the Vancouver General Hospitalmarker. After starting in trauma, he developed an interest and expertise in orthopaedic sports medicine and arthroscopy.

As an orthopedic surgeon, he earned an international reputation for performing arthroscopic surgery on knees, shoulders and elbows. Day is regarded as being instrumental in the introduction of arthroscopic joint surgery in Canada.

In 1997, Day founded Cambie Surgery Centre, a for-profit Vancouver hospital. Day is the facility's medical director and is one of over 40 shareholders.

The centre operates outside Canada's publicly-funded health care system and sees about 5,000 patients a year. It caters mainly to people who have third-party insurance for their operations and has also been controversial for allowing patients waiting for surgeries in the public system to "jump the queue."

Day decided to set up the Cambie Surgery Centre, which is non-union, after government funding decreases in the mid-90s cut his operating time at UBC from 22 hours a week to about five, and he had 295 patients on his hospital wait list.

Dr. Day has argued many Canadians are being hypocritical towards private healthcare. Stating 70% of Canadians buy healthcare insurance but largely oppose private healthcare, neglecting the other 30% of Canadians who cannot afford the extra healthcare insurance..

He believes the Canada Health Act of 1984 is responsible for rationing of care that has resulted in over a million Canadians suffering on wait lists, and to more than 5 million without a doctor. He supports the end of block funding for hospitals and a change to "Patient Focused Funding" where revenue follows the patient. He advocates a patient centered system with a greater role for competition in Canadian healthcare as a means to reduce waiting times for all Canadians and save the Government money by treating people before their condition worsens.. He is a frequent spokesman for the topic with news media and submits position papers with government. For instance, his submission to Roy Romanow's Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada made 10 recommendations:
  1. De-politicize the debate
  2. Repeal the Canada Health Act
  3. Eliminate global budgets and reward productivity
  4. Incorporate business methods
  5. Increase privatization and contracting out
  6. Introduce competition, choice and accountability
  7. Massively reduce bureaucracy
  8. Reduce influence of public sector health unions
  9. Accept economic reality, and introduce user fees
  10. Rank “core services” and deinsure unnecessary services

In 2003, Maclean's Magazine named Day one its top 50 Canadians "to watch", describing him as "an iconoclast, whose time is now."

In August 2006, Day was elected president of the Canadian Medical Association for the 2007/08 term, despite a challenge from the convention floor regarding Day's views.

Other medical accomplishments

Day is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

From 1970 to 2008, Day wrote more than 120 scientific articles or book chapters, in areas of orthopaedics and arthroscopic surgery / sports medicine, and on the topic of health policy.

  • 1993 to 2001 - Associate Editor, Journal of Arthroscopic Surgery
  • 2001 - 80th Annual Osler Lecturer, Vancouver Medical Association
  • 2004 - President, Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA)
  • 2004 - Honorary Member, Cuban Orthopaedic Association
  • 2004 - Member, Board of Trustees, Journal of Arthroscopy
  • 2005/06 - President, Canadian Independent Medical Clinics Association (CIMCA)
  • 2008/09 - President Canadian Medical Association

Conservatives for Patients' Rights commercial controversy

In May 2009, Day drew fire from critics by appearing in a television ad for a US lobby group called Conservatives for Patients' Rights that argues against Obama's healthcare reform plan.

The ad campaign is organized by Creative Response Concepts, the public relations firm group most famous for the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth ads against against 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry .

Day appeared on the television network BNN on May 11, 2009 stating that he has issued a letter dissociating himself from the ad, and that the sentences were extracted from a 40 minute interview from what he understood was going to be a longer documentary.

In a Washingtom Times article (May 2009)[missing citation], Day explained that he actually supports a government role in health care funding and delivery, and supports Obama's efforts to provide access to necessary health care for all currently under insured US citizens. He has always been a supporter of access for all that is not based on ability to pay but, unlike some of his detractors, he does not support a state monopoly in the delivery or funding of care.


  • Brian Day: CMA’s next president supports private health care, By Michael McCarthy, The Lancet, Oct 14, 2006, Vol 368, p. 1321
  • A new Day for health care, By Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun, April 8, 2002
  • Faculty Bio - Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Retrieved on July 3, 2007
  • Day in your life, By Gary Mason, BC Business Magazine, August 2007.

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