Celebrating National Physicians’ Day; initial thoughts on MAPS statement

May 1, 2023

Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, AMA PresidentDear Members,

National Physicians’ Day

Today is National Physicians’ Day. A day to celebrate the contributions of the extraordinary people who choose to serve in the medical profession. Physicians are stewards of public health, communicators, advocates, teachers, experts and curious scientists. They are courageous, compassionate and committed. Personally, and on behalf of the Alberta Medical Association, I extend my sincerest thanks to all of my amazing colleagues in Alberta and across the country – you rock.

MAPS statement

Minister of Health Jason Copping has released a statement on the final reports from the Modernizing Alberta's Primary Health Care System (MAPS) initiative. While we have yet to see the full report, we do have some preliminary comments to share with members.

The AMA is in support of the general direction the minister presented in his statement, including:

  • Every Albertan having access to primary health care no matter where they live in the province.
  • Team-based care and improved models with proper governance structures.
  • Culturally appropriate care and working with Indigenous Peoples to address access.

The longer-term direction of MAPS will help achieve goals that the AMA has held for some time. We must keep in mind, though, these changes are significant. Their success is completely dependent on proper implementation.

Thinking about long-term direction requires us to recognize and understand where we are today. Physician clinics are the backbone and largest component of the public primary care system, and we need to meet them where they are. Over 95% of clinics currently operate on fee-for-service and we must find ways to immediately support them and set them up for success as MAPS rolls out. We need to account for the unremunerated work that goes along with working in teams, including IT and other costly administrative burdens.

Similar to other provinces, the sustainability of the Patient’s Medical Home in Alberta is under serious question. There are issues related to payment equity, a lack of support for longitudinal care and increased expectations related to work that is not remunerated. The key difference is that other provinces are responding to these challenges much more expeditiously.

In all of this we also need to consider physician input. How would existing physician representative structures relate to any organizational or operational changes that may be proposed? How would any changes align with the aims and goals of the AMA agreement? Physician input will be required at all levels of implementation.

Physicians need to see their issues being addressed, including the immediate and longer-term sustainability of their practices. We need to assist physicians in the immediate term so that they can line up with and begin moving toward the goals laid out in MAPS. Only then can we truly signal that Alberta is a welcoming environment for family physicians.

You are always welcome to share your thoughts with me. You can email me via president@albertadoctors.org. 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.'"

1 comment

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  • #1

    Richard Hibbard


    12:54 PM on May 01, 2023

    Does there need to be some sort of public inquiry about working conditions for family doctors?
    Why are medical students not applying for Family Medicine?
    Are there medical clinics owned by non-physicians who dictate how many patients a day a family doctor needs to see?
    The rumour is that new practitioners are asked to see 50 patients a day to enhance the profits of these private enterprises.
    If that is true no wonder medical students are avoiding family medicine.

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