Negotiations Update

March 8, 2018

Dr. Neil D.J. Cooper, AMA President

Hello Members:

I am writing with an update on the status of negotiations with Alberta Health toward a new master agreement. As you know, discussions have been ongoing since December 2017.

Both parties wish to reach a negotiated agreement. The Alberta Medical Association seeks a deal that will meet the needs of patients, physicians and government. I wrote about the many themes that are involved in my January 17 President’s Letter. These are challenging times and our discussions impact the health care system in many ways.

We are currently engaged in meetings with the assistance of a facilitator. This non-binding facilitation process creates an opportunity to come up with something that is broader than just dollars and cents.

If facilitation does not lead to agreement, the dispute resolution processes provided for in our AMA Agreement would still be available. There are two kinds: mediation and binding arbitration and I described these in the January 19 President’s Letter. I’ve noted in past communication that government has commented on what it may do should binding arbitration be necessary. Our expectation remains, however, that government will follow through on its commitments to the dispute resolution provisions of the agreement.

At the table and in our actions and contributions under our agreement, the AMA has clearly demonstrated that we understand and are willing to assist with the financial pressures faced by government. We also continue to support the very real needs of patients for quality care. Finally, the contributions that physicians have made through stewardship and leadership to the financial recovery of the province need to be recognized. These things will be our focus because they are what a high-performing health care system requires.

Please let me know what’s on your mind. As always you can reach me three ways:

At your service,

Neil D.J. Cooper, MD, FRCPC, Dip. Sport Med.

1 comment

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  • #1

    Dan Botha


    7:22 AM on March 09, 2018

    It is all a lot of big and fuzzy words that have been used to describe these negotiations but what is the bottom-line? Are you fighting for a 4 or 5 % increase in our fees or negotiating for the government to buy our existing buildings, staff, and equipment out? Surely the government can not run an office as effectively as the private sector (us) can do but we need money. My staff would love to get paid the same as PCN staff with all the benefits. I would love to tell my Garbage removal guy that I am going to freeze his the bill that is now $ 407 per month compared to $ 268 per month 4 years ago. I would love to tell the City of Calgary I am going to freeze their property tax that was $ 4000 five years ago and last year we paid $12500.
    This is why the AMA should wake up and face reality and start looking at hard facts and protect their members against bureaucrats that in any way have no overheads and still get all their benefits.

    So please tell me what percentage increase we can expect or should we sell our buildings and move to places that will appreciate the work and time that we put in to look after our communities?

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.