Members ratify PCN Governance Framework

June 14, 2017

Dr. Padraic E. Carr, AMA President

Dear Member:

On May 15, voting began for the Primary Care Network (PCN) Governance Framework, a provision of our Amending Agreement with government. I am writing to tell you the results of the vote that was just tallied this morning: The framework was ratified with a double majority: 88% of voting physicians and 98% of PCNs (47% of eligible physicians cast ballots).

I applaud the work of primary care physician leaders – particularly the PCN physician leads and their provincial leads executive committee – with Alberta Health (AH) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) in reaching this milestone.

This is excellent news for patients and the health care system. The PCN Governance Framework was developed with Alberta Medical Association and AH in partnership with PCN member physicians and AHS. Completing the framework is a significant accomplishment for the profession and our partners.

I use the word “milestone” because this ratification marks significant progress on our journey toward an integrated health care system. It will clarify roles and responsibilities, and determine accountabilities for everyone. By creating new ways for PCNs and AHS to share resources for patients in the community, we will begin to close some of the gaps that we know open for our patients as they move about the system from primary care to secondary or tertiary care and back again. The framework affects all physicians in the province; it is about more than primary care.

You will be hearing about the results of the ratification vote in the media in the next day or so, but I wanted members to receive the news first. There will be more information coming about how implementation will be addressed and how this piece fits into the larger context of the Amending Agreement. Some related activities that you will hear about include electronic patient and provider registries that are key for numerous delivery initiatives, the voluntary primary care blended capitation model (for which a first pilot project is about to begin) and expansion of alternative payment models.

All these things will continue to demonstrate one of the fundamentals of our relationship with the health care system: physician leadership, stewardship and innovation to deliver what patients need and deserve.

As always, your comments and insight are invited. Please email or leave a comment below.

Yours truly,

Padraic E. Carr, BMedSc, MD, FRCPC, DABPN

P.S. With so many initiatives underway in the months ahead, I am eager to get out and talk with members, to help explain all our activities and connect them to the bigger picture. If you and your colleagues have meetings coming up when a conversation would add value, I would be glad to participate in person, by video or teleconference.

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