Family medicine crisis deepens. You can help.

January 23, 2024

Dr. Paul Parks, AMA PresidentDear Members,

The situation in family and rural medicine isn’t just bad – it's dire. That’s what I told reporters earlier today at a news conference we held to share the results of last week’s survey of family and rural generalist physicians regarding the state of their practices and finances.

You can read the full report but here is a sampling:

  • 20% say their practices are unlikely to be financially viable beyond six months (8% say three months), and only 21% feel their finances could sustain up to one year.
  • 61% of family physicians are considering leaving Alberta’s health care system, either through early retirement (38%) or by looking for work in another province or country (39%).

We must convince the government of the unprecedented urgency of this situation. We have submitted a three-phase proposal (member login required) to address the crisis, and the Minister has committed to considering the elements of our proposal in the context of Budget 2024. Federal money has been promised for immediate stabilization, but “immediate” appears to be months away, let alone the subsequent funds that will be required to fill the gaps until a new Physician Comprehensive Care Model can be implemented.

You can help now. I am asking every family, rural and PCN physician to take action this week. Here are some options:

  1. Help government, media and the public put a face to the crisis in family medicine by recording a 20 second video with our easy-to-use video tool (Essentially, just "fill in" the blanks: name, where you work and the impact the crisis is having on your patients and your practice). You'll see that I recorded one as an example. It’s super simple and only takes a minute. If I can do it, you can, too.

    I also hope to hear from colleagues in acute, hospital and community specialist care. Please use the video tool to share how your practices are affected by the lack of comprehensive primary care for your patients.
  2. Post our updated campaign posters in your clinic (click each graphic to print the pdf):
    AB family doctor practices hanging by a thread AB family doctor practices at risk


  3. Use our talking points and share them with your staff. If patients ask about the situation in your clinic, encourage them to help us make government understand the urgency of the situation by visiting

Albertans who are currently without a family physician are already worried. Those who are lucky enough to have one, at this point in time, should be worried as well. We must do all we can to ensure all Albertans share our sense of urgency on this issue.

I will do all that I can and as much as I can. Please take a few moments to add your voice to mine so that we will be heard.

Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association


Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    Layol McRae

    Member of the public

    4:12 PM on January 23, 2024

    The situation is indeed dire and unacceptable. We are a wealthy province in a wealthy country - let’s get our priorities straight. We can do better.

  • #2

    Nita Henry

    Other health care professional

    6:53 PM on January 23, 2024

    I fully support family physicians and the reality of a great need for more of them and appropriately funding them and their practices. Calgary RN.

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