Lab physicians: Essential services deserving attention

May 31, 2023

Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, AMA President

Dear Members,

All specialties in our profession deserve due process for contractual discussions, with access to dispute resolution when required. I am writing you today to let you know that there’s one community in particular that is still waiting to see due process: laboratory medicine.

Our laboratory physician colleagues have been without a contract with AHS for five years despite continued efforts to advance one. Our latest offer of negotiations this past fall went five months without a response from AHS. This situation being drawn out over such a long period is even more concerning because Alberta does not have a laboratory medicine fee schedule. Physicians should have the choice when non-fee-for-service remuneration is available and lab medicine has not been afforded another viable option.

Without laboratory services, the system would grind to a halt. These physicians, working hard, out of the limelight, deserve to be treated with respect.

AHS has recently agreed to our proposal for arbitration. We hope this will commence soon, but a settlement should not be so difficult, and it should not take this long. Like payment issues such as stipends, on-call and AHS overhead, the laboratory medicine impasse clearly shows that we need a new approach with AHS.

I will keep you informed.

In closing, let us all recognize and thank our laboratory physician colleagues for their professionalism and continued efforts to serve patients and the system.

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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  • #1

    David Smyth


    11:02 AM on May 31, 2023

    The AMA should stay out of it or the Lab Physicians will get a 1% raise. AMA was supposed to do fee equity but has failed miserably. The AMA is more of a hinderance than a help when it comes to fees. The Ophthalmologists rejected the AMA and have succeeded on their own. Each medical group needs to cut their own deal. The 1% we blindly accepted was supposed to solve the relationship with the government but obviously it hasn’t.

  • #2

    Paul Marner


    4:37 PM on May 31, 2023

    The UCP has shown no respect for any branch of the
    Medical profession. The politicians know we are easy targets as we hesitate to put patients at risk by withdrawing services. The immorality of their position is obvious. The public is unaware of the awkward position physicians and medical employees find themselves in.
    If Dr. Renaldi is correct, and I do not doubt she is, imagine what another 4 years of this will be like.
    I dread to think.

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