Mike Tremblay (1990-1995)

Mike Tremblay, HSMC (1990-1995)My takeaway from HSMC is meeting and working with the students, many of whom came from all over the world. My message for the 40th Anniversary is that as HSMC evolves further, it needs to protect its duty to offer students a compelling and rigorous opportunity to think through critical issues, challenge received wisdom and not just implement current reform. This is essential if new ideas are to see the light of day. My hope for the students that I had contact with was they also realised how important it is to have personal courage to confront the challenges facing healthcare.

I was recruited by Mike Drummond to join HSMC from Canada. I worked in hospital management at McMaster University Medical Centre where Mike also happened to be an advisor on health technology assessment. McMaster was the hot-bed of evidence based medicine and we were a progressive teaching hospital. Mike and I met in the crowded and busy hospital cafeteria and he said why not come for a few years (1990 to 1995); I joined as a Lecturer then became a Senior Lecturer; my teaching portfolio included Deputy Director Public Service MBA, and Director Masters in Quality Management, plus we all had a full plate of contract work. While at HSMC, I ran a course in Brussels on European health policy, a taboo subject then and probably still for some; with the bailouts of some EU member states, health policies and financing are under strain. And at the time, HSMC was busy with the 'first internal market' and dealing with the early evolution of new thinking on system reform.

I left in 1995 to head the healthcare consultancy practice for EDS and ATKearney in London and after a time established my own health policy and strategy consultancy which continues to the present. I advise various governments, intergovernmental organisations and industry, with clients in North America, European Union, and Asia. I've been responsible for advising on two Council of Europe conventions on health and conducted much policy research, such as predictive modelling, "decision architectures", and electronic prescribing, as health technology/ research policy is an area of specialisation. I also developed a framework for dealing with the international trade in counterfeit medicines which has had an impact on how medicines are identified and transported with associated policy and regulatory reforms, which continue today. I co-founded with colleagues a digital health television channel in the UK which went on to become NHS Digital Direct; this was an interesting venture as at the time (1999), it was the first systematic segmentation of patient preferences and expectations; the field trials of the channel took place in 60,000 homes in Birmingham. I have also developed high level courses on policy development for middle and senior senior servants to enhance the quality of policy making and believe better policy can come about through "policy markets" and even some out-sourcing of policy development itself by governments. My recent work has involved developing national life science strategies. I have worked on the design and role of academic health science centres in aligning research, teaching and service delivery; this links to my work on innovation and regional/national policies for life sciences and service reform.

Apart from that, I continue to paint (abstracts) and explore creative opportunities from my base in Belgium. I'd also be happy to reconnect with colleagues who are motivated to explore mutual interests.

I wish HSMC much future success.