Health care in the provincial budget and election

February 27, 2023

Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, AMA President

Dear Members:

The two major parties have both released statements about primary health care. Polling suggests that health care will dominate the general election (May 29 or earlier) and the provincial budget (Tuesday, February 28).

Albertans need solutions to address too few family physicians; overflowing emergency departments; extended waits for specialist consultations and procedures; and ever-increasing mental health needs among Albertans. As all this happens, we can expect direct competition for physicians and other health care providers for years to come.

The recent statements about primary care signal what to expect. We will review them in detail and ask questions. What will parties do to:

  • Ensure Albertans have access to a family physician and support integrated team-based care?
  • Stabilize over-stretched primary care practices that are the foundation of the health care system?
  • Enable more proactive responses such as those implemented in other provinces to support primary care?
  • Listen to the expertise of frontline physicians and providers to transform health care?

The budget will signal the government’s plans and we will have questions there, too:

  • What are the priorities? The AMA has a list: primary care; rural medicine; secondary specialist care in our regional centres; Indigenous health care; health human resources; drug toxicity crisis; mental health; care of the elderly; wait times including emergency care; and access to specialists.
  • What new resources will be available and are they truly new vs. repackaged or re-announced? What will happen with new federal funding?

The AMA will facilitate debate and support comparison of the various platforms. We will listen to and share feedback from the 47,000 Albertans in our online community.

You are always welcome to share your thoughts with me. You can email me via 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.'"

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