Hedy FRY

FRY, The Hon. Hedy, P.C., M.D., L.R.C.P.S.I., L.M.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
Birth Date
August 6, 1941
Website
http://www.hedyfry.com
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=9e8dc941-5170-448f-8b08-591892bb1d05&Language=E&Section=ALL
Email Address
hedy.fry@parl.gc.ca
Profession
physician

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Health) (December 6, 1993 - January 24, 1996)
  • Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) (January 25, 1996 - January 14, 2002)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) (January 25, 1996 - January 14, 2002)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) (January 25, 1996 - January 14, 2002)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with special emphasis on Foreign Credentials (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with special emphasis on Foreign Credentials (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development with special emphasis on the Internationally Trained Workers Initiative (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development with special emphasis on the Internationally Trained Workers Initiative (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)
October 19, 2015 -
LIB
  Vancouver Centre (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 276)


April 8, 2019

Hon. Hedy Fry

Mr. Speaker, my colleague has asked an important question. One reason physicians do not want to go to rural areas is that it is difficult to get replacements, so they are on call literally 24/7 and cannot leave. As we know, every year physicians have to upgrade their skills. They have to have continuing medical education, because things change rapidly in the care of patients. Almost every three months, something new is going on. That is one of the problems. As well, they want to be able to send their children to university, and sometimes they want something close by, which is not always possible.

Some provinces are trying to use incentives to help physicians stay there. They are trying to get people to take over when they need to leave to continue their medical education, and they are trying to allow them to get support from tertiary care centres through telemedicine. A lot of that is happening, which is going to help people.

A lot of young people do not seem to want to go into medicine anymore, mainly because of the hours, the stress and the time to have interpersonal relationships with patients, which demands a lot of emotional strength and support. We are hearing that physicians are rapidly burning out.

I hope people who are listening to this debate will say that they want their kids to be physicians one day and maybe start bellying up to the bar to do that kind of thing.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Physicians’ Day
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April 8, 2019

Hon. Hedy Fry

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that my colleague asked that question. Under a former Liberal government, it was my duty to look at the barriers that stood in the way of people who trained in foreign countries coming here to practise medicine.

Fortunately, or unfortunately in some cases, it is out of our hands, as the colleges set the criteria for how a physician is trained and what training is needed. First, a person would have to pass the board exams when coming to this country, so that the college can verify they are fit to practise medicine here.

There is also the issue of speaking the language well. Being a physician does not mean just saying hello and how are you in English or French and nothing else. The intricacy of the relationship between the patient and the physician requires good language skills. Under that Liberal government, this was something we had put money into. I understand that money is still there. There was over $20 million for what we call “advanced language training”.

Of course, people also need to find a practice here. Therefore, we were looking at how we could get them into clinics where they could train for about four months, to understand how Canadians practise medicine and what the ethics and rules are. This is a very important thing.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Physicians’ Day
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April 8, 2019

Hon. Hedy Fry

Mr. Speaker, educating Canadians about the importance of women in medicine and the work that Dr. Emily Stowe did are important parts of what we are hoping to bring to the fore when we talk about May 1, which was Emily Stowe's birthday. Today, over 60% who are enrolling in medical school are women. We see that 50% of family doctors are women, over 45% of those going into medical specialties are women.

Women bring a very different perspective to practising medicine. They bring a humanity to it, which male colleagues do as well, but women see the world from a different perspective. There is a joke that there are more women patients than men, and so women understand what it is like to be a patient. They understand the needs of the patient better.

I am hoping that as we talk about Emily Stowe, we are talking about the fact that physicians are not just healers or there to prevent us from getting sick, but they are probably the best advocates we can have for those in poverty, the vulnerable and those whom society shuns. All of my physician colleagues go to bat on these issues. They do not get paid for it, but they do so because they know that it is important for the well-being of society and the patient.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Physicians’ Day
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April 8, 2019

Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.)

moved that Bill S-248, an act respecting national physicians’ day, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs for seconding this bill.

It is a pleasure to stand here to speak to a very simple, short, one-line bill, which says that we would like to name May 1 as “national physicians' day”. Why would it be the first of May? It is because May 1 was the birth of the first female physician, in the 1800s. She graduated in New York and came to live here because she was a Canadian woman from Toronto. Her name was Dr. Emily Stowe. She was not able to study here, so she had to go to New York to get her medical degree. Therefore, the medical profession would like her birthday to be the day that we celebrate national physicians' day.

Not only did Dr. Emily Stowe come back here to become a very prominent suffragette, but she also helped to create what we now call the Women’s College Hospital, so that women, unlike herself, could now study in Canada. That is one of the reasons we are naming it national physicians' day on May 1, because of Emily Stowe.

However, I want to talk about why there should be a physicians' day. I am a physician. I studied medicine in Dublin, Ireland. I came to live here in Canada. I practised medicine for 23 years, delivering over 800 babies. That was a remarkably wondrous time in my career, because I loved delivering babies. I loved getting up at two o'clock in the morning and rushing out to deliver a baby. It was always a great feeling, but sometimes it was not.

Sometimes babies were born with problems. That was really hard, after working with a mother for nine months, to get to the point of knowing what she was facing with the birth of her child. Physicians do that every day. They see that people get sick. Sometimes we cannot help people. All in all, that is how physicians spend their days. I do not think there is anybody in this place who has not at some time or another seen a physician.

For me, being a physician was a remarkable time in my life. However, I want to point out how many physicians not only look after patients to try to prevent them from getting sick, but also look after patients when they are dying or going through difficulties with Alzheimer's disease. That is what physicians do.

There are still physicians in this country who are making house calls. There are about a million house calls a day in this country made by physicians. It was something that I liked to do, because I got to visit my patient's house. I saw the way that they lived, and it helped me to understand better what was going on in their lives.

As physicians, we are not only involved in healing the sick, helping people to get better and preventing people from getting ill, but advocacy is a major thing for physicians. When I was a member of the British Columbia medical association, we worked really hard to get infant seat restraints. We pulled all kinds of stunts to get the government of British Columbia to enforce them. In fact, we had a poster that said, “Did you belt your kid today?”, and there was a Canadian seatbelt sitting in his or her little chair. We also worked hard to get people to wear bicycle helmets. We were again trying to make people take notice. There was someone riding a bicycle with a watermelon that fell off and splattered, and it said, “You have to wear a helmet. Protect your melon.”

There are all kinds of things that one had to do as a physician to move that agenda forward, to try to speak for patients. Many times patients are vulnerable and do not have a voice to speak for themselves. This, for me, is the essence of being a physician. It is not just studying for seven years and then doing two years of residency and finally practising medicine. I knew all about the science of medicine, but it is my patients who taught me the art of medicine. It is my patients who helped me to understand what being a physician was really about. It is going to bat for your patients and trying to get the best for them. Considering the best interests of your patients is one of the things that we believe in as physicians.

Then, of course, my patients also taught me. Patients taught me not to judge them but rather to help and do my best for them, regardless of my religious or moral beliefs. It was not about that; it was about doing the best for my patients. It was to support them through all of their decision-making to help make their lives better.

As a family doctor, it was about getting to know the patient's family. It was about making sure that we knew that the family itself was at the heart of what made the patient tick, what made the patient who he or she was. Sometimes when we were trying to deal with a patient's ailment, we had to deal with the family. We had to look at the family dynamics. We had to do the kind of stuff that we never think physicians have to do.

That is why I want to talk about some physicians I know very well in British Columbia, who have put themselves on the line. They do not get paid for it, but they push hard. I want to talk about Dr. Julio Montaner, from the Downtown Eastside, where he has worked with people who are addicted, who have overdosed and who have HIV-AIDS or hepatitis C. All of those people that the world tends to forget or are judgmental about, he has put himself on the line for, pushing for those things.

Dr. Jerilynn Prior, who is a friend of mine and a colleague, at one time pushed for women to take folic acid so that their children would not be born with spinal injuries. Today, she is pushing for dying with dignity, as she herself is in a wheelchair with an intractable disease.

I could go on and on about all of the things that physicians do other than just looking at us when we are sick.

I know how many funerals I have attended as a physician, how many births and many marriages. I know how many women have called me in the middle of the night because they were scared. They were locked in their bathroom because their husband was outside screaming at them with a baseball bat because he had come home after drinking too much. Sometimes, I have found them places to keep them safe.

For me, this is what a physician is about. Therefore, we are asking for everyone in this House to support the concept that on one day in the year we celebrate physicians for the work they do, their integration into our families and lives, and to ensure that this country has physicians. Family physicians take care of about three-quarters of patients and their needs.

We talk about gender equality a lot in this House. Two-thirds of family physicians are women. We now see them enrolling in university to study medicine and graduating across the board as specialists and the like. In fact, we now have about 45% of women who are physicians. Therefore, we have come full circle, in talking about how being a physician is really important, how many of us depend on physicians when we are helpless or in need and the trust that we put in physicians. Being a doctor is one of the most-trusted professions in the world. I think that this tells of the relationship we want to celebrate when we talk about physicians day on May 1.

Therefore, I hope I can get support from this whole House to designate May 1—and perhaps, because I know it is just around the corner, this coming May 1—as the day we stand in this House to declare the very first national physicians' day.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Physicians’ Day
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March 19, 2019

Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 50th anniversary of MacDonald, Dettwiler, a B.C. company that launched Canada as a world leader in space, telecommunications, earth observation and robotics.

In 1963, UBC engineers were able to map the ionosphere when NASA could not. Two of them began MDA, and its contributions to the aerospace sector have been groundbreaking. MDA's robotics capabilities led to the invention of the Canadarm, the first-ever in-space servicing system. They then went on to develop the Cassiope system for rapid uploading and downloading of massive data.

Today, MDA is a global leader in space technology, dedicated to a resilient, rich and competitive industrial base across Canada.

I would like to wish a happy 50th anniversary to MDA. As Canada recommits to space exploration, we know MDA will be there to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates
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