The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) shares the sense of outrage expressed by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and is equally concerned with the state of health care in the province.
At a time when the health care system is confronted with an aging population with complex health issues, destabilizing access to care is the wrong thing to do. We are very concerned by any changes that will lead to increased wait times, more out-of-pocket costs for patients, and more challenging working conditions for physicians – all of which will impact patient access and quality of care.
Every province and territory abides by a well-established and respected negotiations process to establish physician fees. Last week represented an unexpected and unacceptable departure from this process as the Alberta government made the decision to terminate the master agreement and to unilaterally impose new measures on physicians.
The opportunities to modernize health care are on our doorstep – but these can only be realized in an environment of collaboration and open communication.
We stand with our Alberta colleagues and urge the government to work with the AMA to prioritize patient care in the province.
Dr. Sandy Buchman
President, Canadian Medical Association