AMA response to government consultation proposals

December 20, 2019

Dear Members:

On November 14, the Alberta government tabled several proposals, which they considered to be outside of negotiations, and gave the AMA until today (December 20) to formally respond.

We received feedback from over 1500 physicians and I am writing today to provide members with the AMA’s response to the Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services Insured Services Consultation proposals.

Categorization/Disposition of Items

The AMA notes that the proposals represent a diverse mix of SOMB fee reductions, de-insurance, administrative changes and AHS payment changes.

It is the AMA’s view that those proposals directly related to physician compensation are to be discussed within the broader context of the negotiations currently taking place between Alberta Health and the AMA.

For proposals that are not directly related to physician compensation, the AMA has provided comments and analysis for the Minister’s consideration. We have asked the Minister to seriously consider these points, along with information from other stakeholders, before making any final determinations.

We met with the Minister yesterday (December 19) to share our written response and begin a dialogue on the proposals. We agreed that it is important to sustain both budget and quality considerations within our system. This will require government and physicians working together in the best overall interests of the system. I expect to hear from the Minister shortly and I will share the outcome of those discussions with you.

Thanks to the Membership

The formal response we have developed and the communication that has occurred would not have been possible without the participation of physicians across the system. I want to thank all of you who provided commentary on the proposals and those who wrote to and/or met with their MLAs. Sharing your stories in writing and in person is incredibly important to ensure that implications are fully understood as we work through this.

I also want to thank the physicians and staff directly involved in preparing the materials for our discussions with health, and for participating in many of the discussions and meetings - formal and informal. A lot of time and energy was invested in our efforts and I appreciate that very much.

I have read all of your e-mails, spoken to a number of you and taken all comments to heart. While I appreciate that these past weeks have caused a lot of concern for all of us, I am hopeful that this could be a turning point and a new opportunity to have an effective dialogue to affect positive change.

I would like to ask all members to stay connected with us. This submission to the Alberta government is our fulfillment of a deadline. But the discussion and activities remain ongoing and we must maintain the momentum.

Please let me know what you think in the following ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply:
  • Comment publicly, below on this President’s Letter (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member).

NOTE: While I am reading all correspondence, due to the amount of incoming email, my responses to you may be delayed. I sincerely appreciate your understanding during this busy time.

In your service,

Christine P. Molnar, MD, FRCPC
President, Alberta Medical Association

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