Budget response

March 1, 2023

Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, AMA President

Dear Members,

Yesterday’s budget includes new funds for a health care system under stress, but it is difficult to determine how much. For example, health spending grew significantly in the past year, but that growth is measured against a period of fewer services for many patients due to the global pandemic. (We are still deep in the care deficit that resulted.) Characterizing this catch-up as “new funding” could be viewed as a little misleading.

Amount aside, it matters where new dollars go. The budget will fund more training spaces and enhance recruitment efforts for health personnel. It is just as (or more) important to retain and support the health care workforce that we already have. What additional help will there be for health providers, or for physician practices in the community that are struggling? All provinces are in competition and acting accordingly. What will Alberta do? Health human resources will be the single largest problem facing this province’s health care system for years to come and we need to respond now.

The federal health care funding that was just announced could help. The government needs to commit that these dollars will be allocated on top of yesterday’s provincial budget and not just absorbed into general revenue. These new federal dollars fail to recognize the size of the problem — as our provincial government always points out to Ottawa — but they can help if they are focused on our challenges.

You are always welcome to share your thoughts with me. You can email me via president@albertadoctors.org. You can also comment on this letter on the AMA website.


fred Rinaldi, MD, CCFP, FCFP, LLB, MBA, MPA(HSA), BCom
President, Alberta Medical Association

"Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'"


Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    David Smyth


    3:32 PM on March 01, 2023

    You can throw as much money as you want at the problem and you won’t solve it. If the AMA had done their fee equity work and finished it we could recruit to the offices. Why would any CCFP want to work in office Family Medicine when they can make more doing hospitalist, ER, urgent care, sedation for scoping or OR assists. No overhead no continuity of care issues. PCNs will just take away more money. Family Medicine is dying.

  • #2

    Chris Evans


    4:34 PM on March 01, 2023

    I completely agree with Dr. Rinaldi that the federal $ need to go directly to health care, and not be absorbed into "general revenue".

  • #3

    Ernst Snyman


    10:24 AM on March 02, 2023

    The government would have to be very carefull how the money is going to be spend. Accountability! Going by some of the responses on social media and amongst professional members on Linked inn , some organizations and some docs, seem to want to continue in tha same way down the same path as before. NO we have to have a new funding system with capitation together with fee for service, with newly qualified young doctors to have to spend 2 years of compulsory service in rural areas , before they could be recognised as a family physycian . FP to be seen as a specialist in general medicine, with financial benefits attached. Private and public healthcare to exist together

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