Canuck overboard!

Experiences of a Canadian MD living below sea level in the Netherlands.

In the summer of 2008, I emigrated from Canada to Amsterdam in The Netherlands. This provided me with an opportunity to explore the healthcare industry from a very new perspective. I became a healthcare consultant working in a foreign culture.

I have had the opportunity to learn about different healthcare systems. I have worked with clinical teams throughout Europe and North America on healthcare improvement projects. I have seen how different systems are organised and the effects on patient care.

It has been reassuring to see that the fundamentals of this business are the same no matter where you go: caring, hope, comfort and the ability to mitigate suffering. Our systems are fundamentally sound. But expenses and expectations are rising, which means that healthcare in it’s current form is unsustainable in most western countries. The differences between health systems, and between how we deliver care within those systems do matter. We need to find cheaper ways to deliver better care.

I hope to contribute to this conversation by identifying examples of good ideas and positive outcomes in healthcare. The Dutch health system has undergone extensive transformation in previous years. I will highlight some of these changes, that may be otherwise invisible to an international audience. And I hope that I can contribute to the eventual understanding and implementation of better ways of doing things in other places.

Please feel free to post comments and your opinions. If there are issues that you would like to discuss or questions that you have I will do my best to address these topics. I look forward to interesting dialogue!