Harper and Seniors

Opposition accuses Harper of putting prisons before seniors – The Globe and Mail.

First I must admit, I am a senior. Have been for seven months. Before that I worked as a physician for forty years. I paid taxes on every penny. Taxes that paid for schools, roads, hospitals, hydro dams, and lately politicians’ gold-plated pensions. Also wars, expansions of prisons. and incentives to large corporations.

Yes, I and the others of my age paid for it all. When Harper was elected, another pair of seniors, Chretien and Martin, handed over a surplus. We, the elders paid for that too, enduring those years of restraints. Harper squandered it.

And now we have a government that has decided that those of us who paid for all that will be too big a drain on the economy, too big to carry on with the 540.12 each month, that is the total OAS that seniors receive. What is the total amount that the MP’s present and past receive?

Perhaps we could forgo the expansion of our prison system, and the required prison sentences that are forcing it. The crime rate is falling after all.

Mr. Harper knows that we’re coming, the seniors. I think he should remember that we all vote.

Guarding the coasts-followup

CBC News – Canada – Order to cut navy’s coastal vessels rescinded.

One day later, and they have resided the order to mothball the ships. A person can’t keep up with the changes in policy in this government. The overnight polls must have been bad, or they started getting calls form their “base”. ┬áNo mention of where the money is coming from or what they plan to cut instead.

Retiring, and waiting.

This is the end of the first full week of retirement for me. The office is closed and we are on our own. I think its the silence that will bother me, until I develop some activities that take me outside the house. Every day was filled with talk — talking to the staff, talking to the parents, talking to other doctors, but especially talking to the children. I miss the children.

Writing is a solitary occupation. In the past, I wrote in the corners of my life. Now writing can take as much time as it needs and some days, it doesn’t need very much. One book about writing suggested that if the muse fails, do something else “writerly” ie: blogging, reading marketing articles, research for the next book. I’ve done that, but still there is that silence. Maybe the CBC.

I’m waiting for the final publication of Murderous Roots,( http//www.writewordsinc.com )the print on demand version. The proofs are in; the publisher told me they have gone to press, but I have no idea how long this process takes. The print version comes under a different imprint at the same website – Cambridge Books.

Retiring, cont.

We’ve been shutting down the office this past week. The charts are almost ready to go. We have about 50 more bankers boxes worth of charts to load and label and we’ll be done with that phase.
Getting rid of more than 30 years accumulation of furniture, office supplies, books, financial records, etc. comes next. The rules are clear: keep 7 years worth of financial records; shred the rest. 7 years of bills, cheques, bank statements (84) income tax records, the list goes on.
We’re lucky in having a large basement storage area, but even that is getting full. What do others do? Renting a storage locker, I suppose, would be the only solution.
All of this sorting and saving and storing, all of it is done in case someone else needs the information. And all of it costs money. And none of it, as far as I know, is deductible against retirement income.

Retiring: The Last Day

Tomorrow is our last day of seeing patients after almost 40 years. I started my internship in July of 1970, and my practice in 1976. I remember so many of the children and I’m going to miss seeing them. However, I’m also going to enjoy not waking up in the middle of the night worrying about a decision I had made, or some test I didn’t order, or whether the parent had understood my instructions.
The work isn’t over yet. We still have to finish closing down the office, making provision for the charts, getting rid of furniture, shredding, taking out the trash. Not as exciting as setting up.
But it’s spring. We have work to do in the garden. I have a book to edit, and another to polish. We’re going to Spain in the Fall. This year at least is looking good.
My last patient is a well child, the grandson of an old friend. A good way to end.

CBC News – Politics – Contraception an ‘option’ in maternal health plan

CBC News – Politics – Contraception an ‘option’ in maternal health plan.

These people still don’t get it. Contraception should not be an option. It is too important in the health of young women everywhere, especially in the developing world.
And apparently “family planning” is the Conservative code word for abortion. At least the Minister says no family planning, and Harper says yes to contraception as an option but no abortion debate. Yet more back pedalling today. Either they are incapable of thinking through their ideas, or they believe they can put “spin” on these issues and we won’t notice.

Retirement looms. One more week until the last day for patients, the 29th of March. I’ve been cleaning out financial files. Who knew how much there was to keep. The rule, according to our accountant is to keep seven years of records. I’m up to 6 banker’s boxes and counting.

Economists

Eight weeks left until I see my last patient. Every day brings a new goodbye.
Yesterday I submitted my CME for 2009. Because we are going to keep our licenses active, that means more CME in 2010. It’s difficult, but I think it would be harder to just stop and never read a word of medicine again.
Oh and the stock market has fallen again. Yet another reason to keep the license active, at least until next year.
Review: How Markets Fail, by John Cassidy – The Globe and Mail. An interesting review of this book about economists and their inability to predict, control or explain the markets.
This week was a good example of the emotional irrationality the rules those who buy and sell. Obama wishes to regulate the banks. A good thing, right. As far as I can see it was regulation that save the Canadian economy from the depths others have reached. But no. The young men in red suspenders have apparently learned nothing, and think the sky will fall if bankers aren’t allowed to pillage economies, paying themselves outrageous salaries as they play with the lives and money of others.
By the way, the US economy has made 5.7% increase in the GDP in last quarter, but the economists don’t expect it to last. Tell me why I should believe them.

Retirement

I’ve been away from the blog for a few days–a combination of a vicious cold and retirement planning. Before we started this retiring process, I had little idea of the complications, or the number of phone calls I would have to make.
We started with the managers of our RRSP’s and were reassured(we think) that there is enough money to last– always assuming we don’t live to be a hundred.
But that was only the beginning. Then came the decision about license to practice. To keep or not to keep? And so another round of calls to organizations known by their initials– the OMA, RCPSC, CMA, CPSO and so on.
What to do about the office charts, and referrals to other specialists? And then talking to the patients. Conversation after conversation. How to get followup care? Where will the charts be? What about the medications? And what are you going to do in your retirement, Doctor?
Reviewing the charts, writing or dictating letters to other doctors, deciding what to keep and what to shred. that last led to another round of calls. How long must we keep the charts? The answer to that is ten years, unless the patient is a child, and then until the child is twenty-eight years old. I have seen babies this year, so those charts will be in the facility in Toronto until 2038. I will be eighty-two years old in 2038, and still paying someone to provide access to those charts. Amazing.
Some days I think it would be easier to just carry on.