President's Letter

Dr. Neil D.J. Cooper, President, Alberta Medical Association

The "voice of the AMA" – The President's Letter informs you about Alberta Medical Association (AMA) positions on key issues in Alberta’s health care.  

Comments on the President's Letter are welcome. Go to the most recent President's Letter (see the link below) to participate in members-only commenting.

You may also contact the AMA President by email at president@albertadoctors.org

For older issues of the President's Letter (and issues on other topics), visit the President's Letter archive.

President's Letters and news releasesRSS

Overhead Surveys Completed – Preliminary Results

June 18, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Keeping up with overhead costs is a major part of maintaining viable practices today. Members are always concerned with the ever-present pressures of overhead costs and that’s why overhead is one of the Board’s priorities for allocation – and why it’s important to measure it accurately. We need a measurement tool that reflects modern practice today, but can also be updated with emerging information over time.

Voting results – Members ratify agreement

May 30, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am writing to let you know the results of the ratification vote by Alberta physicians on the 2018-20 agreement package with Alberta Health. I am pleased to advise that the package was ratified, receiving a “Yes” vote from just over 89% of responding physicians. (Voter turnout was 29%, as it was in 2016.)

A ratification vote will open today

May 4, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As I announced in my April 23 President’s Letter, a tentative agreement has been reached regarding a financial reopener on our main agreement with government (the AMA Agreement) and the status on the Strategic Agreement related to physician bargaining with Alberta Health Services. It is now up to physicians to accept or reject the proposals through a ratification vote.

Negotiations concluded: tentative agreement package reached

April 23, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am writing today with good news that the Alberta Medical Association and Alberta Health have successfully concluded negotiations and a tentative agreement has been reached.

Overhead Survey – We need your input!

April 18, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: We are nearing the end of the time for you to contribute to an extremely important study of physician overhead costs in Alberta. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to do so, please do so now!

Highlights from Spring 2018 Representative Forum

March 29, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: My last President’s Letter updated membership on the Spring 2018 Representative Forum discussion on the Income Equity Initiative as part of the overall Physician Compensation Strategy. I would now like to touch on some of the other topics and themes that were discussed at the meeting March 16-17 in Edmonton.

Representative Forum update

March 18, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Yesterday we wrapped up another successful Representative Forum meeting. You may have seen some media reports about the RF’s session on the AMA’s Income Equity Initiative. While many important topics were discussed, I thought I would take this opportunity to update you on that topic in particular.

Representative Forum meets this week

March 13, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Representative Forum meets in Edmonton this week: Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17. I thought I would give you an overview of the agenda and highlight some of what we will be discussing.

Negotiations Update

March 8, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am writing with an update on the status of negotiations with Alberta Health toward a new master agreement. As you know, discussions have been ongoing since December 2017.

Help us shape AMA informatics policy

January 29, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Information is one of the big themes underlying everything the AMA is trying to accomplish for members, patients and the health care system. Whether for appropriate clinical decision-making, provincial or local administration or engaging patients, data is the lifeblood of an integrated system. Today, though, there are barriers to getting the information we need for care. We lack the data for taking the system where we want to lead. Patients are still waiting for access to their own information.

Facts and figures about physician payments

January 23, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: There has been lots of discussion about where Alberta doctors sit compared with others in the country. I thought you might like to see some facts and figures to shed some light on how things work in Alberta.

Programs have differences; we value all of them

January 19, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Evolving toward a fully integrated, high performing health care system takes more than just intentions. Physician practices need to remain viable as an important part of system infrastructure. As clinicians and medical leaders, we also need support to learn different ways to work, to work with different levels of care more effectively, to take full advantage of the value of team-based care, informatics and more.

AMA priorities and themes for negotiations

January 17, 2018

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As you learned from my December 28 Negotiations Update, in spite of significant early challenges, the AMA and Alberta Health continue to negotiate a new master agreement. As always, we will respect the confidentiality of what happens at the table, but I would like to give you a flavor of what the AMA is bringing forward on your behalf.

Launching Peer Review: Information and tools for physicians

December 15, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As part of our drive for physician stewardship, the Representative Forum has supported development of a peer review mechanism. This was negotiated as part of the 2016 Amending Agreement.

Negotiations begin

December 7, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Negotiations commence this week with Alberta Health to negotiate a new master agreement. With the 2016 Amending Agreement, we saw an opportunity to help government with the province’s fiscal challenges. At the same time, we wanted to increase our influence within the system in order to improve quality of care. Physicians stepped up as leaders and we have been successful.

Supporting Academic Physicians

November 16, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In September, a President’s Letter addressed AMA advocacy around the provincial Academic Alternative Relationship Plan – now known as the Academic Medicine and Health Services Program. The AMA is not a signatory to the AMHSP. We have a seat on its operational and steering committees under our Amending Agreement.

Physician Compensation Strategy: The video

October 25, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: We have had many discussions over the last several months about the Income Equity Initiative. It has been rewarding to see how the profession has come together to work on the various aspects of the plan and to make sure we are looking at all the important aspects so we get it right.

My thoughts on 2017-18

September 21, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I wanted to introduce myself as your new president. I am a Calgary pediatrician who has been active with the Alberta Medical Association for almost 20 years in various roles – mostly related to fees and information technology issues. I am honored to have been elected to serve as your president for the 2017-18 year.

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.