Media Release: Alberta must act now: AMA calls for COVID-19 “fire-breaker” measures

September 27, 2021

EDMONTON – The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) is calling on Premier Kenney and Health Minister Copping to institute timely, effective public health measures – commonly referred to as a "fire-breaker" – to aggressively control COVID-19 cases in order to protect our health care system and keep Albertans safe.

Coming out of their Representative Forum meeting this past weekend, Alberta’s physicians are formally calling on the government to put significant and immediate measures in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 that has become so rampant in the province.

AMA President Dr. Paul Boucher said, “This is an immediate problem that needs to be acted on. We are on the edge of a very dangerous cliff, one that will see physicians and other health care workers making decisions on who does and does not receive care if case numbers continue on this path.”

The AMA recognizes there are other public health measures that also need attention, but this call to action is the most urgent. “While we know that there are serious negative consequences to hard lockdowns, unfortunately we see no other solution. It is now life and death,” said Boucher. “Albertans are tired and have been doing their part since this all started, and we do not make these statements lightly. These are indeed desperate times and we are disheartened that it has come to this. We need government to institute clear, decisive actions to immediately save our health care system from collapse and protect Albertans.”

Several other related issues were also discussed at the Representative Forum, including public measures to improve vaccination uptake; increasing support for providers dealing with the crisis; increased involvement of physicians and other health care workers in providing COVID-19 policy advice to government; and putting supports in place for delayed care and the many other health needs that are not currently being met. All of these will help improve Alberta’s resiliency and responsiveness to a challenge that will continue to be with us for some time.

The Representative Forum meets at least twice a year to set direction for the Alberta Medical Association and includes 150 representatives from all sectors of the profession. This group of representatives is responsible for the overall policy direction of the organization to meet the best interests of members.

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Contact

Melissa Pennell
Public Affairs Manager
Alberta Medical Association
melissa.pennell@albertadoctors.org

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.