Members: Do you have confidence in the Minister?

July 21, 2020

Dr. Christine Molnar, AMA President

Dear Members:

Today, for the first time, I am offering my President’s Letter in both video and written formats.

Our relationship with the provincial government has reached an all-time low.

Last weekend, we held an emergency meeting of the Representative Forum to discuss our next steps. We are in unprecedented times, and by an overwhelming majority, RF took the step of requesting a Confidence Vote Referendum on the Minister of Health.

Over the next week, we are asking Alberta physicians to let their voices be heard on this vital matter. This is your choice and your voice. We want every single doctor across this province to have an opportunity to vote, as this grassroots direction will guide our next steps and send a strong message to government.

For months now, the AMA has repeatedly attempted to engage the Minister of Health in an honest and fair negotiation with physicians. At every turn, we have been met with a combination of indifference and increasing hostility. It is damaging your practices, our health care system and patient care every day that it continues.

How the referendum vote will work

If members tell us they DO have confidence in the Minister of Health, then we will continue to try to work with him and to engage him in a meaningful way. This will not be easy and unfortunately, will likely be much more public than it has been to date.

If members tell us they DO NOT have confidence in Minister Shandro, our next course of action will be to elevate our impasse to a higher authority; namely Premier Kenney. We will not be demanding the Minister be fired. This is a statement about our confidence in the Minister of Health’s ability to work with physicians, our representative association - the AMA and to make decisions that are in the best interests of supporting the public health care system.

We will make only one request of the Premier: that is to give his personal attention to this pressing issue. The Premier certainly could fire the Minister, but he could also use his “good offices” to encourage a meaningful dialogue between physicians and the Minister to reach an agreement. He could also appoint an independent third-party to arbitrate a new agreement with physicians.

Regardless, a non-confidence vote in the Minister will tell the AMA Board that physicians feel its time to move this file from the Minister’s office, down the hall to the Premier’s office to find a resolution. And if the Premier is unable or unwilling to address the issue, then there really is only one higher authority to whom we can appeal - the public, our patients - and that’s where we will need to concentrate our efforts.

The voting platform is open now, and will be open until next Tuesday, July 28 at 11:00 p.m.

It takes 30 seconds, but the power of a strong response by grassroots physicians can have an impact that lasts for generations of doctors and their patients.

I am asking every physician (i) to vote and (ii) get at least two of your colleagues to do the same! If you’re on social media, use #IVoted and tag two colleagues.

We have very limited means to demonstrate our concerns about the current assault on our profession. We need to stand up and be heard.

It’s now in your hands. It’s your choice and your voice. Please let it be heard and vote today!

In your service,

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

P.S. You’ll be hearing more about other motions coming out of the RF to help the Association achieve our goals.

8 comments

Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    Hayrapet Kalashyan

    Physician

    12:21 PM on July 21, 2020

    The treatment Alberta Physicians get from this Government.. especially at this time, when the whole World is praying for and appreciating Healthcare Workers, is insulting, to speak softly..
    It is unprecedented and the way it progresses, does not look serious even: like a child who was heart by vaccination needle and kept a revenge towards doctors.. Let us know, if the Province is no more interested in Healthcare.
    This is no more tolerable...
    It is just insulting and disrespectful beyond any meaningful boundaries.

    Thank you to AMA and Dr. Molnar for all the efforts and great work done. But it seems members need to get more involved/active and united as never before, as this is unprecedented and so our JOINT efforts need to be appropriate.
    I have a busy shift in ED right now and voted and verbally informed any colleague passing by in ED and will share in social media.

    Thank you AMA leadership again.

  • #2

    Alexei Savtchenko

    Physician

    5:31 PM on July 21, 2020

    Unecceptable to limit/cut physician funding especially in circumstance of COVID19. If anything, front line workers should be promoted.

  • #3

    gert grobler

    Physician

    8:58 PM on July 21, 2020

    This is the typical actions you will get from a dictatorship.We are fed up with this Alberta goverments lies.As an immigrant from South Africa and Canadian citizenship with 14 years of service to first rural and now in City practise.Not only affecting changes in income and employement in our clinics.Affecting patient care.No politician to be trusted as they get their monthly pay ,pension and benifits without the least of worries about bussinesses they are destroying.Be sure i will not vote for these idiots again.

  • #4

    tcr wilkes

    Physician

    9:40 AM on July 22, 2020

    regrettably I do not have confidence in the minister of health's ability to fairly and impartially negotiate with the AMA.

  • #5

    Nathalie de Bruin

    Physician

    10:29 AM on July 22, 2020

    I do not have any confidence in Minister Shandro! He is killing our public healthcare system and makes it impossible to provide good care for Albertans.

  • #6

    Dr Daniel Botha

    Physician

    1:06 PM on July 22, 2020

    We should ask Minister Shandro if he will take a 45 % reduction in his salary and give up his pension plan, sick leave and holidays. That is exactly what he is doing to family doctors that owns their own offices.

    We all feel the writing is on the wall and not so sure what the AMA is going to negotiate but this is destroying our practices and small business in medicine. The rimple effect will be enormous.

    Closing an office has nothing to do with our patients, it will be a business decision, at one point it is just not worthwhile to do this type of job with the stress and sacrifices we make towards our own health and our families.

    Thank you for the opportunity to say something

  • #7

    Joan Munro

    Member of the public

    3:21 PM on July 22, 2020

    I believe Shandro should be removed. There is no confidence in what he has to offer, and he is not working to resolve this in favour of Albertans. He has an agenda.

  • #8

    Martin smith

    Member of the public

    7:06 PM on July 22, 2020

    Our community is very upset with this UCP government, we voted for you in the last election and we are extremely disappointed with you and your party.

    The health minister unilaterally tore up our contract and refuse to negotiate with our chosen representative.
    You are trying to break comprehensive longitudinal primary care, You are trying to undermine the Alberta Medical Association.

    This is not about saving money; Alberta doctors offered a large pay cut. This was ignored.

    Jason kenney doesn’t care about what experts tell him regarding how family physicians keep ppl healthy. He wants to line the pockets of wealthy investors, single payer medicine is not on the table.

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