“American Style for Profit Private Health Care for Rich”
“Broken Public Health for Average Albertan”
“Profit before Patient Health and Safety”
Family Physicians will no longer own and operate clinics and will not be able to provide quality care as employees for corporations (Bill 21 and Bill 30 Alberta Legislation)
“The MacKinnon report is rife with out-of-date, misleading and misinterpreted data suggesting Alberta’s physician compensation is out of step with other comparable provinces”
– Dr. Christine Molnar is president of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA).
1. Myths about Doctors and Current health Care system
Myth 1: The average salary of an Albertan doctor is 35% higher than those of other provinces
The adjusted difference drops quite significantly, to merely 5.7% higher.
Alberta’s industrial aggregate wage level impacts staff and overhead costs but is 15.4% higher than that in other provinces. According to an independent consultant, by 2021–22, Albertan doctors will actually be behind comparator provinces by 2.5%.
AMA recognized Alberta’s tough economic realities and offered a 5% across-the-board reduction. Tyler Shandro, on the other hand, introduced uneven cuts that target specific specialties and devastate primary care.
Myth 2: Albertan physicians received 300% increases since 2002
18 years is an odd and arbitrary timeframe. Increases in the early-mid 2000s were catching up following Klein’s cuts from the 1990s. Since then, Alberta doctors have not even kept pace with increases to the consumer price index. The fee schedule has not increased in five of the last nine years, and the remaining four only increased at CPI or less. Additionally, doctors have had wages frozen for the last 7 years.
Myth 3: Jason Kenney promised to “maintain health spending,” and a physician budget of $5.4 billion
This isn’t a complete myth; it’s more like “myth-leading”. Keeping a flat health budget ignores population increases, aging, growing complexity of patients, and increased numbers of doctors (many of whom were recruited by Alberta Health Service).
Alberta doctors agreed to meet the government’s demand to cap physician spending at 4.57B.
Will the Albertan premier & health minister accept that their agenda is not to save money, but rather to privatise health care? Shandro signed a contract with Telus to pay double what they pay family physicians in Alberta for a phone consult.
Myth 4: Doctors promise to cut costs, but this never yields any savings
AMA found savings of $438 million, which would have been spent otherwise.
Albertan doctors agreed to meet the government’s demand to cap physician spending at 4.57B
Myth 5: Doctors should be responsible for any overtures in the Physician Services Budget
The average gross billings of Albertan doctors in 2018/2019 was essentially the same as it was in 2015/2016.
The average Albertan doctor’s billings in 2019 was only 0.7% higher than it was in 2015 in statistical variation.
The annual increases in total physician expenditures is causally related to maintenance of healthcare access for all Albertans in setting of an increasing population. Physician services sought by each patient have increased as well as an aging population as he cost of providing care to seniors is multiple times higher than any other age group. Yet these factors are independent of an increase in a physician’s income.
Physician spending is just under 23% of the total health care budget – consistent with other province
Ultimately, to blindly insist that healthcare costs should be “maintained” translates to reduced access to healthcare for Albertans
2. UCP to Privatise health Care and Control physicians, CPSA and HQCA – So that there is no oversight and puts Shandro in full control, to possess power over morbidity and mortality data from the public due to privatisation
Bill 1: Affects the right to protest – free association and protests are illegal.
Bill 10: Instant legislation without oversight, allows emergency powers and even the chance to force doctors to work
Bill 21: MOH cancels doctor’s Master agreement with AMA without recourse. Physicians no longer have rights to a contract and makes contracts with corporations unbreakable according to section 40.2
Bill 24: This bill allows emergency powers to be used outside of an emergency. The government can conscript physicians. Enforceable enslavement, along with robbing Albertans of their financial security (coopting of CCP) and dissolution of the RCMP (replaced with Alberta police, AND a volunteer party-loyal private militia).
Bill 30: On July 29, 2020, the legislature of Alberta passed Bill 30 as “the first step to breaking down the legal barriers to prevent privatization of health care in Alberta.” Evidently this is for profit, which includes a lack of quality, thoroughness and accuracy in patient care.
- The UCP is making the HQCA a puppet of their government in order to justify harmful changes to our healthcare system and control it.
- Bill 30 also increases UCP Appointed political membership on CPSA’s health profession colleges and tribunals which will decrease transparency and silence physicians
- Allowing privatization and destroying the current public health system
- a. Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, allows the ministry to contract directly with doctors — essentially bypassing the Alberta Medical Association and then further allowing private companies to take over the administrative functions of physician clinics
- b. Allows Private Corporation to bill Alberta health directly – Shareholders can no longer be medical professionals, but should have physicians as employee
- c. Allows binding contracts to Private Corporation with AHS
- d. The physician who delivered the service is not eligible to submit a claim
Bill 32: Destroys unions, by obtaining independent power so no collective bargaining is present resulting in workers struggling to earn more for over timed work. Bill 32 now looks at seizing unilateral power so no collective bargaining with groups like AMA.
Shandro – MOA has given himself the power to sign off on contracts he makes with doctor(s) which makes creating uncalled for changes, as simple as the stroke of a pen.
3. The motive of UCP and the Health Minister is to privatise health care
Bad Faith Negotiation timeline
- On September 3rd, 2019, Shandro notified AMA with an intent to negotiate,
- The minister proposed faulty suggestions in pursuit to mend primary healthcare in a way it would become damaged. The Minister of Health disrespect, offends, devalues, diminishes, intimidates, threats and insults physicians!
- Finance minister introduced Bill 21, the “Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability Act, 2019” for first reading on October 28th of 2019.
- Bill 21 received royal assent on the 5th of December while negotiations were still underway. This bill granted power to the minister to terminate agreements right as the AMA and Alberta Health were negotiating an agreement.
- The AMA said it was blindsided in October 2019.
Shandro – MOH Bad faith negotiation with AMA
- Actual negotiations began between November 13th, 2019 to Jan 23rd, 2020.
- In November, the government gave the AMA a list of eleven proposed changes
- Remediation started on January 31st, 2020and continued for three weeks until February 11th 2020.
- Just six days later, Shandro terminated the AMA agreement using Bill 21
- Have now proposed Bill 30 to allow privatisation of health care.
4. Alberta Medical Association – AMA:
- AMA was founded in 1906, with almost 14,000 physician members
- Since 1986, the AMA has been the exclusive representatives of physicians
- December 11th 2018 was the passing of Bill 24, “An Act to Recognize AMA Representation Rights”.
- In April, the AMA filed a lawsuit against the government, alleging that Shandro’s actions breached their Charter rights. The province filed its statement of defence this week.
AMA Surveys 2020
- Of the physicians who responded to the survey, 87 percent said they will alter their medical practices in response to Shandro’s changes.
- That includes changing or withdrawing the services they provide to hospitals and other AHS facilities (48 per cent), reducing their working hours (43 per cent) and cutting staff (34 per cent).
- Nearly half of the respondents said they are thinking of leaving for another province or are on their way out and 34 per cent said they may retire early or leave medicine for another career.
- “Physicians have reached a breaking point,” AMA president Dr. Christine Molnar, noted in a news release.
- 98% of doctors who voted in survey have no confidence in Alberta health minister
AMA Agrees to:
- Alberta doctors agreed to meet the government’s demand to cap physician spending at 4.57B
- Hold the physician budget at its current level as MOH demanded and continue to do so for the next three years
- Work with MOH as full partner to manage the physician’s budget and explore new payment models
- Contribute AMA’s expertise to stabilize and improve Alberta’s health care system
- Work with government to advocate its health care platform to decrease wait times, improve scenario care, support mental health and advocate the patients’ medical home.
The Government needs to:
- Pay for new physicians over the existing number of physicians.
- Restore our right to binding arbitration
- Continue funding for program and grants such as maternity/paternity benefits and the physicians health program.
5. Alberta Doctor are advocating for:
- Due to provincial disrespect and not valuing physicians – 42 per cent of physicians consider leaving Alberta due to the dispute with the government.
- We are advocating for rural doctors and urban doctors, who poured their hearts and souls into their communities and will have to move away and demolish their family
Public Health Care System:
- Public health care system is changing to two tier health care system – American style private profit
- Corporate care- doctors take the back seat, shareholders take the wheel
- Profit comes before patients
- IMGs will be easier to control and push into the UCP plan for corporatized healthcare. They will not be able to challenge the government or defend public healthcare. They are being taken advantage of, most likely unknowingly.
- 4.7 billion dollars take away to wealthy corporations
- Loosing Doctors who have invested their dollars and year of work in their communities, MOA’s, nurses and cleaner’s will lose their job, landlords will lose renters.
- Advocating for thousands of Patients that will lose their family doctor and disrupt continuation of care.
- Advocating for Patients that will not have a family doctor
- Advocating for patients that are elderly, multiple comorbidities, low socioeconomic, people of color, now immigrant
What you can do as Albertans:
- If you agree with this information, please write to your MLA and Premier to stop privatisation of health care in Alberta
- Stop corporate and all donation to UCP
- Create awareness in the community that we are about to have two tier American health care system in Alberta and then Canada
- Please let us know what job action will you support from physicians as protest to the Health Minister and Premier by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are a physician then email to email@example.com so we can connect and have job action.
- If your family physician is leaving, consider looking for a new family physician now.
Dr. Mukarram Zaidi