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For Alberta doctors, the health of you and your family is our number one priority.  Alberta is known around the world for timely access to quality, affordable healthcare. Due to recent decisions made by the Government of Alberta, that reputation could be at risk.  

In February 2020, the Government of Alberta tore up its contract with doctors – putting the care and treatment of hundreds of thousands of individuals in jeopardy. In doing so, the government removed a charter right to arbitration that all other essential service providers in Alberta enjoy. This is a direct threat to the public health care system and the quality of patient care.

AMA agreements allow physicians and government to work together to build a better health care system. Physicians want to be partners and contribute their expertise to decision making. We will continue to fight to protect Alberta’s patients, but we need your help. It’s time to take a stand – tell the UCP government to get back to the bargaining table and negotiate an agreement that ensures Albertans receive the quality healthcare that they deserve. If disputes need to be resolved, then use third-party arbitration to keep discussions from breaking down.

What does this mean?  

This is a direct threat to Alberta’s public health care system.

We are losing the opportunity for physician and government collaboration around improving patient care – something which has occurred with all previous governments.

There is an unprecedented level of insecurity for Alberta’s physician community. Our recent membership survey revealed that over 42% of Alberta's doctors are considering leaving the province.

The Government of Alberta NEVER intended to negotiate.  

In February, the government tore up the AMA Agreement before negotiations for a new agreement had concluded.

The government removed doctors’ rights to binding arbitration (all other essential workers have this right).

The government incorrectly informed Albertans that the AMA has never tabled any proposals or offered significant savings. The AMA tabled offers and savings in February, March and July.

No more Alberta Advantage when it comes to attracting physicians. 

The government has imposed crippling funding changes in a careless manner – some of which have been reinstated due to pushback from the public. Now that the government has torn up the doctors' contract, what's left is causing confusion and uncertainty for physicians and their practices.

Attracting and keeping physicians will be harder. What physician, resident physician or medical student would rush to a province where the government treats physicians this way?

Doctors are, at the end of the day, also small business owners. These changes have the potential to force them to scale back their practices –with many uncertain about their ability to afford overhead costs. 

Alberta’s doctors need a contract

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E-mail your MLA and tell them now is not the time to mess with Alberta's health care system. Help them put Patients First® in this crisis.

Myths vs. Facts

Myth: “The AMA hasn’t made any credible proposals.”

Fact: The AMA has been willing to negotiate since day 1.

The AMA has made multiple, meaningful proposals to government since negotiations began in November 2019: four in 2020 alone (January, February, March and July). From the first day of negotiations in November 2019, the AMA never received any financial proposal from government. The government simply repeated its budgetary mandate of $5.4 billion.

Debunking the Alberta Government’s false claims about their negotiations with the AMA.

Myth: “Alberta doctors are overpaid.”

Fact: Physician remuneration are in line with other provinces.

The Government of Alberta alleges that its new funding framework corrects an 'imbalance' caused by exorbitant physician salaries. This claim is far from the truth - rooted in questionable data and false assumptions.

The truth of the matter is that government’s information comes from the MacKinnon report, which was flawed because of the comparator jurisdictions selected, the data sources and comparability, and the benchmarking methodology applied. The AMA’s own analysis has shown that physician compensation in Alberta is competitive with other jurisdictions in Canada. In addition, an independent analysis commissioned by the AMA (from a firm that government has used numerous times in the past) provided confirmation that Alberta’s rates are in line with those of our counterparts when proper comparators are used.

It’s common for parties to disagree on data in negotiations. The AMA has confidence in ours. The question is: if the minister is confident in his data, why won’t he allow a third party independent arbitrator to decide what is right? The Minister has removed physicians’ rights to arbitration. We are suing him for violation of charter rights.

Myth: “The AMA’s never made any proposals or proposed savings to acknowledge Alberta’s fiscal situation.”

Fact: AMA proposals respected this government’s budget constraints.

The AMA has tabled four proposals with government since January. In our latest offer, physicians agree to manage within the Minister’s budget for population growth in Alberta, service increases arising from aging of the population, new technology, inflation and other factors. We are only asking that the Minister cover the costs associated with any new physicians that he chooses to recruit above our current numbers. Given that he has the ability to exclusively control whether a physician can enter the province, we feel it is reasonable to ask that he also manages the associated costs. We also offer to work with him to develop a needs-based physician resource plan to get physicians where Albertans need them.” 

The Minister has thus far refused to acknowledge the Association’s offer, accusing the AMA of playing games.

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