Ad campaign. First action acute care crisis.

December 28, 2023

Dr. Paul Parks, AMA President

Dear Members,

There are two things I wanted you to see before 2023 comes to an end:

Campaign materials – Save Family and Rural Generalist Practices

The December 21 $100 million announcement of immediate funding for family and rural generalist physicians is the first step toward restoring family and rural medicine to stability and vitality. Step one keeps the lights on. Step two is the subsequent period of transition, making it affordable to remain in comprehensive care until a new Physician Comprehensive Care Model is available (Step three).

The Minister has heard us. We think it’s important that all MLAs understand these issues, too. We have launched a campaign to help with this task. Paid social media advertising directs interested Albertans to our public website to learn more about the issues and sign up for updates. They can also actively lend their support by participating in the government’s budget consultation survey or contacting their MLAs to express their personal concerns and priorities. (Physicians are also invited to participate and you can share your perspective at this link for AMA members.)

Please let your patients know about this opportunity to provide their support. There are materials available for use in family or rural medicine offices, as well as acute care and hospital settings.

We soft-launched the campaign in some physician offices before the holiday break. Thank you to the doctors of Sherwood Park’s Synergy Medical Clinic for test-driving the materials and spreading the word with colleagues at such a busy time.

First action to address the crisis in acute care: Finding flexibility and solutions in Alternative relationship plans

Everyone agrees primary care must be restored before the system can be improved in any significant way. We also know there is a parallel and expanding crisis in acute care. The perfect storm we currently face has resulted from years of inaction and disconnected approaches in the health system – despite many warnings and efforts at resolution from the AMA and physician leaders.

Alternative Relationship Plans are proven strategies to stabilize and improve access to medical services and quality of care for Albertans but on which, for years, we’ve been unable to galvanize government to make necessary improvements expeditiously.

There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes on ARPs and other dimensions that intend to address the major acute care challenges. You’ll learn more about how the AMA has packaged all these - and other physician-designed solutions - into a coherent, comprehensive Acute Care Stabilization Proposal. We will be turning our attention and intense advocacy in this direction in the new year.

As for the work of recent months, no group has been working harder than our internal Clinical ARP Working Group (that informs a joint working group with Alberta Health). The AMA's internal working group has written an important update about urgently needed ARP improvements that have been proposed to government and the planning work that remains. I invite you to read the update now (member login required). Their passion and expertise are greatly appreciated.

We’ll see you in 2024. Happy New Year!


Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

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Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.