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: 
  • 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). 


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


Post a comment

  • #1



    10:10 AM on October 29, 2020

    Time to Jettison the CPSA. Have the AMA be the final arbritar of standards and professionalism.
    The CPSA does little for Doctors other than criticise their every action.
    Filled in the past with failed surgeons who think they have a right to pontificate

  • #2

    Michael Demas


    12:54 PM on October 29, 2020

    re President’s Letter 29 October 2020
    Well done Dr. Boucher. We continue to need to provide measured professional responses to our current circumstances and express optimism for the future. I repeat my call for a concerted AMA multi-media campaign about how physicians are here for Albertans, about the measures physicians are taking to keep Albertans safe, with no mention of negotiations. Vignettes from docs such as “Hi, I’m Dr. X from Trochue. My colleagues and I agave adapted our office practices to keep you safe by..,.,”
    Br the way there’s no need to reply to me
    all the best Michael

  • #3

    Humaira Khanam


    10:11 AM on October 30, 2020

    Having moved to Alberta from another province a few years back I could clearly see the better health care delivery that Alberta has been able to provide. It must have taken years of planning and investments to achieve that capacity. From school mental health services to nurses, allied staff to doctors, its painful to see the erosion of the system not only on the health front but also in many other fronts including education and environment, all in the name of balancing the budget. At this stage, due to the COVID and oil prices, the budget is NOT going to be balanced, so why destroy the system that is functioning well. I agree that it is prudent to find efficiencies in any process but portraying some of the professions as inefficient or money grabs is not right. Taking the jobs away when so many are unemployed already, or making protests impossible and in the case of physicians, even leaving the province difficult, is the govt's plan of balancing the budget.

  • #4


    Member of the public

    3:43 PM on November 02, 2020

    It pains me to talk to my Drs about the state of healthcare.
    My once very cheery family Dr. who told me in Dec he was going to close is hanging by a thread.
    I’ve worked closely with him on my health and supporting the Drs. We share everything & every month when I see him or talk to him I worry, I see through his smile.
    On Friday he said he would stay for at least another 8 or 9 months, I don’t know how to take that & didn’t push as his wife is weeks away from having their first baby. In all honesty I think that’s what kept him here.
    All my Drs specialist & surgeons thank me for my support on here but I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall too.
    In April I applied to 10 Drs on the map said to be taking new patients. Even told my Dr. not that I would leave him he’s too damn good! To date no response. When I found my family Dr just over a year ago I had looked for 8 months. I needed a new team for my illness I was down to 2 days of Medication & no where to turn. With a chronic illness this kind of stress doesn’t help.
    That stress still rests on my shoulders. The way Shandro slices & dices healthcare I’m scared. I worry about him sticking his nose in to more of healthcare he knows nothing about. Lawyers aren’t Drs yet Shandro thinks he’s both.
    I’ve begged to be heard as a patient in the system for 37 years. I’ve seen it all the good and the bad. What Shandro is doing is destroying what good is left. What’s good is our Drs.

    This province needs a wake up call because they aren’t getting the facts, They are getting the govt version of facts and with it being pounded into them that’s what they believe! Deflect another UCP trick. I spend my time explaining to people that don’t need the care I need what’s happening and they don’t believe me, tell me people like me make their taxes go up or the province is broke cuts have to made oh well. THEY Arent getting the message!

    Please tell me what I’m to say to make a difference.
    The press isn’t getting the message out or right. Every medical assoc needs to speak up loudly! We don’t see this in the news everyday. We don’t see other assoc in the news everyday supporting Drs. We don’t see Ottawa supporting Drs.
    The AMA The CPSA the other colleges the Canadian Medical board, everyone needs to be In the press supporting the charter their rights the Drs and Alberta! The small ad space I see on Instagram is lost. The ad that popped up during an online game happened once.
    There has to be more news other than Twitter. There has to be in your face media if you want change. Yes it cost money but Shandro is costing lives. We don’t see what goes on behind closed doors when healthcare Shandro & the AMA talk. it’s time we did. We can bark all we want on Twitter but at the end of the day.,.Albertans don’t Iive on Twitter. I don’t have one friend that use other social media use Twitter not one, They are clueless as to how I support Drs here or the info I see they don’t & they don’t care!

    Get your face out there. Show who the AMA is, show the charter show the lawsuit show everything you can. Covid was a great way for the govt to take control & with the spike they are going to keep screwing who they can,
    In my opinion after studying this since Dec from every angle...Alberta doesn’t have a clue who the AMA is who’s you are, what you do, and when and if you are pushing Shandro and how bad healthcare is about to get on top of covid. You can’t trust the media to give you a positive spin when they spout what comes from the government and nothing else!

    I’ve put all my time to this,I’ve learned the different models my Dr helps explain what I don’t know, I’ve offered my story my illness my education my disease my time in the system & hospitals up to Shandro and the AMA. Nothing.
    Patients need to be heard yet I’m blocked by Shandro. Even have a shadow ban for telling the truth. Shandro took exception to the fact that my health life or death rests on his shoulders now. That’s the respect Shandro has for all Albertans. If it doesn’t serve his agenda he doesn’t care. You can let him line the UCP pockets with money or you can Scream we are being lied to!
    We can help! Use us! Use every foundation for every disease. Get the message out from the sick the elderly the dying. Alberta need to see who is going to pay with their life now, not when it’s too late.
    The blame is on the UCP. We are losing our safety net and it’s going to cost lives.

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.