Taking our story public

July 15, 2020

Dr. Christine Molnar, AMA President

Dear Members:

Those who read the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal this morning will have seen an Alberta Medical Association full page ad, releasing our most recent proposal to address government’s mandate. This proposal has been sitting with Government since Canada Day with no movement.

On your behalf, I took it public.

This morning I held a press conference via Zoom to explain to media that, no matter what the Minister claims, we have indeed brought multiple proposals and significant potential savings to the table. You can view the details of the proposal on the AMA website, including a recording of the press conference.

Many members have asked what they can do to help get the Minister to take Yes for an answer and come back to the table or enable arbitration. I encourage you to share the above link to our website with your friends and family. Let’s set the record straight. Our profession has engaged in good-faith and fully cooperated in these negotiations.

On Friday, the results of the AMA’s most recent member survey were released. The results show, among other things, an unprecedented level of distress and that many physicians are considering leaving Alberta given the current toxic and unstable environment.

In response, the Minister continued his objectification of Alberta’s physicians by ignoring their thoughts, needs and feelings as expressed in the survey. Rather, he alluded to the Sunshine List and that he may disclose it soon. Yesterday he announced on Twitter that he fully intends to release the list and that he would immediately begin consulting with the AMA on how to do so.

An honest Sunshine List will be transparent about the data and will provide full context, explaining the impact of overhead on a physician’s net income. How the list is presented and to what ends is important. If, in the end, it is merely gross billing data presented to name, shame and blame physicians, we will see another MacKinnon-like example of the government demonizing the profession.

We hope this consultation will be more productive than recent ones. Bill 30 comes to mind - when we received a request for input with four days to respond and only after the bill had already been tabled in the legislature.

This weekend we will hold a special meeting of the Representative Forum via Zoom to review our current situation and help form plans for future advocacy.

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.

- Winston Churchill

In your service,

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


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