Heading into Spring RF; advocacy for care of the elderly

May 12, 2022

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA President

Dear Members,

Representative Forum

The Spring Representative Forum, Part Two will take place at the end of this week (May 13-14). The agenda includes the latest updates on negotiations toward a new agreement, as well as the Physician Compensation Strategy and Income Equity Initiative. We’ll hear from expert physician leaders on two critical topics: the opioid poisoning crisis and pediatric mental health. We’ll also discuss AMA advocacy plans for the upcoming weeks and months. As always, delegates will bring their own issues and proposals for AMA involvement to our Members’ Hours. I will report back to you on what happens at the meeting.

More care deficit advocacy

On the topic of advocacy, today I am releasing Care Deficit Assessment Series Issue 3: Care of the Elderly. In recent weeks our issue papers have addressed pediatric mental health and women’s health. Today’s release considers the heartbreaking deficiencies in the care of the elderly that the pandemic has exposed in every jurisdiction. Proposed solutions for our own province are included, as well as the usual list of resources and information for patients and families.
 
If you subscribe to AMA News for Docs or you’re scanning your own news sources, you’ll have seen the growing number of stories regarding the pressure on emergency departments across the province. Closures of rural EDs due to staffing shortages are frequent stories. We’re working with the Section of Emergency Medicine on an issue paper about the care deficit manifesting in EDs. The EDs are the nexus where most other care deficits eventually - and often first - appear. Keep an eye out for that issue coming soon, along with others addressing the care deficit for cancer care and surgery.
 
We expect to arrange some media interviews in the weeks ahead with some of the physician leaders involved, and we look forward to other advocacy opportunities on these very important topics. We’ll also start bringing you what we are learning from our albertapatients community about their experiences and expectations related to these aspects of the care deficit.

I will write again soon. You can reach me any time in the following ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org.
  • Comment publicly on this President’s Letter (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member). 

Sincerely,

Vesta Michelle Warren, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, Alberta Medical Association
 
P.S. If you want to suggest a topic for an issue paper, please email JPAC@albertadoctors.org

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