Minister letter to CPSA

July 16, 2020

Dr. Christine Molnar, AMA President

Dear Members:

Many of you will be aware of the Minister’s letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons regarding what steps physicians may take in adjusting their practices and what he characterizes as job action. I fully support and respect the work that the College does in its mandate to protect the public, but there are great concerns with the Minister’s approach.

The Minister’s letter follows on the College’s own Advice to the Profession on Job Action from last week, a subject I commented on in my April 17 President’s Letter.

I have some comments to share with you.

First, many physicians are being forced to make difficult decisions. This is due to steps taken by the Minister that have exacerbated an already grim situation, arising from lack of support for community practices in COVID-19. This is not job action: it is survival.

Second, I understand that the CPSA will be looking at the standards established across the country, but I also expect that the CPSA’s current guidance is not out of line with what is in place in many other provinces.

Third, the legality of the Minister’s request needs to be understood. The AMA has sent the Minister’s letter to legal counsel for review.

Fourth, the Minister’s letter strongly reinforces our lawsuit – in my opinion, it almost makes the case for us. Given that we are left with so few options to express our needs and be heard, physicians must have access to arbitration. This Minister is attempting to close off all roads for expressing legitimate concern or taking legitimate steps in response to his unilateral actions.

Fifth, the demands of the Minster in this letter appear to further undermine the continuing self-governance of the medical profession.

In closing, I continue to be extremely concerned with the non-collaborative environment that is being created. With respect to our recent proposal, the Minister is even opposed to accepting the financial responsibility for new physicians, whose entry he will control under Bill 21 Practice ID restrictions.

This may be a moot point as he is creating such a hostile environment for physicians that retention, in addition to recruitment, will both become critical issues.

Patients will suffer, but the budget will be met.

In your service,

Christine P. Molnar, MD, FRCPC
President, Alberta Medical Association

3 comments

Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    This comment has been deleted.

  • #2

    This comment has been deleted.

  • #3

    This comment has been deleted.

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