Voting results – Members ratify agreement

May 30, 2018

Dr. Neil D.J. Cooper, AMA Presdient

Hello Members:

I am writing to let you know the results of the ratification vote by Alberta physicians on the 2018-20 agreement package with Alberta Health. I am pleased to advise that the package was ratified, receiving a “Yes” vote from just over 89% of responding physicians. (Voter turnout was 29%, as it was in 2016.)

Read the government’s news release here   

The new provisions within our agreement contain financial and non-financial elements and define our relationship with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

  • Amounts owing to the profession in relation to the settlement of the 2017-18 reconciliation will be paid out. Physicians can anticipate an increase to the Schedule of Medical Benefits and alternative relationship plan payment rates (roughly equivalent to a cost-of-living adjustment) plus a retroactive payment back to April 1, 2017. In addition, a retroactive amount pertaining to about 50% of the 2017 Retention Benefit will also be paid back to physicians. Moving forward, physicians will carry no further risk from budget over-runs arising from utilization.
  • AMA recognition and representation rights will be available to virtually every physician, regardless of location or type of practice.
  • All programs continue, with the exception of the Retention Benefit; most are now evergreened and will continue unless the parties agree to change them. Four (On-Call; Business Costs; Rural Remote Northern; Primary Care Network Program Management Office) remain non-evergreen, but will have an additional 12 months of bridge funding (through 2021) giving the parties time to discuss their future.
  • The parties have identified a list of health system initiatives involving physician leadership and stewardship to improve quality and effectiveness.

The Board of Directors will immediately begin considering the process for allocation of the 2017 retroactive cost-of-living increase to the SOMB, as well as the mechanics of paying out the partial 2017 Retention Benefit. As always, sections will be involved in development of our allocation proposal to the Physician Compensation Committee. Please watch for information coming soon on timing and work to be done.

Thank you for your support during these negotiations. I am confident that we have achieved a good deal for members and face the future in a stronger position as a result. As always, I am glad to know what you think. You can reach me in three ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply:
  • Share your perspectives with colleagues in our Discussion Board for members only (member login required).
  • Comment publicly below on this President’s Letter.

At your service,

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

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