Changes to AMA/CMA member dues

October 18, 2018

Dr. Alison Clarke, AMA President

Dear Members:

I’m writing today as membership renewal notices have been arriving in member inboxes. There are some member dues changes and I wanted to provide a few comments about them for your information.

As you can see, Canadian Medical Association fees have decreased by $300 for full members and CMA membership for retired, resident and student members is now at no cost. AMA full member fees have gone up $150, but with no increases for retired, resident or student members. The net effect of this is that for most full members, conjoint dues are $150 lower than last year.

Regarding the CMA, I wrote to members October 1 about the continuation of conjoint AMA membership with CMA as directed by the Representative Forum. If you missed that letter you can read it here. I have heard from some members since then, and I appreciate that this continues to be an area of concern. As I wrote in my letter, though, the RF discussion concluded that it’s important to take time to understand the full implications of changing our relationship with CMA. A report will be taken back to the RF in the spring for further discussion when we have better information available.

As for the AMA $150 dues increase, the Board of Directors thought really carefully about the decision. It’s worth noting that the last time our dues went up was 2014-15. Compared to other provinces, our dues are right in the middle of the pack among the provincial and territorial medical associations.

The Board’s decision took into account that the AMA will be working on a whole new set of activities and issues. For example, with the new agreement including the Strategic Agreement, we are now involved in many more negotiations when requested by physicians within Alberta Health Services, including arbitration. Pending legislation around AMA recognition and representation will increase both the number of groups and the breadth of issues on which we may negotiate for members, e.g., academic physicians. A provincial election is coming in 2019 and we are planning government relations activities to ensure that MLAs of all parties understand the importance of physician leadership in a quality and affordable health care system. We want to work more closely with Zone Medical Staff Associations to better support them in their unique advocacy and leadership needs. These are things that matter to members and we want to be confident we have the resources in place to be effective and successful.

You’ll be hearing more from me about all these and more in the year ahead. If you are interested in a complete look at the activities the AMA will be undertaking on your behalf, you may want to review the 2018-19 Business Plan and Budget.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write or comment in this first month of my term. I look forward to hearing from you all year long. You can always reach me by email if you would like a direct reply via president@albertadoctors.org. If you just want to comment, then there are two options respectively:

  • Share your perspectives with colleagues on our member-only Discussion Board (member login required).
  • Comment publicly below on this President’s Letter.

Warm regards,

Alison M. Clarke, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President

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