AMA response to CPSA consultation on job action standard

October 29, 2020

Dr. Paul Boucher, AMA President

Dear Members:

As Dr. Christine Molnar wrote to you in September, the AMA participated in the consultation initiated by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta regarding three standards of practice: Job Action; Closing or Leaving a Medical Practice; and Relocating a Medical Practice. The College has amended these in response to a June letter from the Minister in which he called on the CPSA to take steps that would “require physicians to mitigate the impact of withdrawal of services.”

I understand that a large number of individual physicians responded to the consultation, and I thank you for doing so. The AMA’s response to the consultation is written at the provincial level, speaking to larger issues and policy implications for the profession.

The role of the physician is to provide the best care we can, in compliance with our professional ethics and responsibilities. In support of this, physicians require an environment characterized by respect and general stability. In the chaos and conflict that exists today, these latter elements are utterly lacking.

As I have written in the CPSA letter, the loss of any reasonable means for physicians to provide input regarding their compensation from effectively the only purchasers of medical services, combined with the loss of any effective means of protest envisioned in the CPSA standards will make Alberta a highly unattractive place to practice.

Members will have heard the news of wildcat strikes at hospitals around the province.

Regardless of our own views about the action taken, I think we can empathize with the concern and frustration that gave rise to it. It is a sign of the unrest that has crept into our health care system at the most unfortunate time.

Alberta has always had a well-deserved reputation as a place where collaboration leads to innovation in the interests of patients and where all members of the health care team are heard and respected. We must continue to strive to build that future together.

Your comments are welcome:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org 
  • Comment publicly below on this President’s Letter (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member). 

Sincerely,

Paul E. Boucher, MD, FRCPC
President, Alberta Medical Association

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