About laboratory services

July 26, 2019

Dr. Alison Clarke, AMA President

Dear Members:

Lab services and laboratory physicians are integral to good patient care for all Albertans. In June, the government cancelled construction of the Edmonton laboratory hub lab project and is currently exploring the needs of the province for laboratory services. Numerous provincial groups have commented. Yesterday, the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science added its voice to support appropriate investment in this area. We wanted to update members with our own assessment of the situation and to let you know what the AMA and Section of Laboratory Physicians have been doing.

First, we cannot over-emphasize the fundamental importance of laboratory medicine in the health care system and for patient care. There are a number of options open to the Minister and several stakeholders involved with varying interests and opinions. Whatever options government may consider, the common denominator must be the impact on patient care and access to laboratory services, not to mention our ability to train, attract and retain laboratory physicians. Medical expertise and advice that cut across all options are essential.

We have had discussion with the Minister of Health. He is aware of these concerns and sees their importance. We are working with him to provide the necessary medical advice and information. To that end, the ASLP has been actively engaging with members to gather input. A meeting is planned with the Minister to continue the conversation.

We will keep you informed as we have things to report, but thought you would appreciate knowing that patient-focused advocacy is being delivered by the section and the AMA.

Please let me know if you have comments through the following:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email (president@albertadoctors.org) if you would like a reply
  • Comment publicly below on this President’s Letter.

Warm regards,

Alison M. Clarke, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, Alberta Medical Association

Brinda Balachandra, MD, FRCPC
President, Alberta Section of Laboratory Physicians

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