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“First, I want to acknowledge the tremendous work of Alberta’s physicians in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Albertans from across the province are grateful to physicians who, along with other health-care workers, have made great personal sacrifices to keep them safe during this unprecedented public health emergency.
“Negotiations on a provincial agreement for physicians have continued despite the pandemic, with both the government and AMA recommitting to work together. Both parties came to the table understanding the importance of collaboration, while respecting our differences, so we could achieve an agreement during these challenging times. Throughout the process, both parties shared an abiding commitment to put Albertans’ health and well-being first and foremost.
“Our tentative agreement allows for fiscal sustainability into the future, while maintaining a strong focus on patient care and fairness and equity for physicians.
“I am pleased that both parties could move forward and work together in a spirit of cooperation that positions us positively for the future. We have learned a lot from each other during this process and are building toward a renewed relationship based on collaboration and trust. Alberta’s government looks forward to having a strong relationship with both the AMA and individual physicians, as they have a critical role in keeping Albertans healthy.
“I look forward to working with Dr. Boucher and the AMA to support this agreement’s successful ratification. Agreement details will not be released publicly at this time. The AMA will now take the first step towards ratification.”
“I am pleased to arrive at this opportunity to return to a collaborative relationship between the physicians of Alberta and government. For many years, AMA agreements have been powerful tools toward improving quality care that brings high value to the system and to patients. They are not just about funding for physicians. They have addressed needs such as new models for delivering care, building the Medical Home in Alberta, strategies to improve quality of care for patients and more. This tentative agreement package has potential to continue that legacy.
“Our process now is to place it in the hands of our members for their assessment. A special meeting of the AMA’s governing body, the Representative Forum (RF), will be held in the coming week via Zoom. The RF will consider the tentative agreement and provide advice to the board of directors.
“On that advice, the AMA board will determine whether the agreement will proceed to a ratification vote by our approximately 11,000 members. We will be prepared to open voting immediately for a three-week period.
“I thank the Minister for his willingness to commit to this process. I share the hope that a new working relationship can be formed out of this tentative agreement: based on collaboration and shared objectives to deliver the best care for Albertans, sustainably and with fairness for physicians.”