Alberta physicians will see an average rate increase of four per cent over the four-year term. This is in line with other recent public sector agreements.

There will be larger average increases for specialties facing greater pressures such as family medicine, which will see an average effective increase of 5.25 per cent when the value of other investments are factored in.

“I am very pleased that physicians support this new agreement. It will stabilize the health system, target areas of concern and support Albertans’ health-care needs. With its significant investments, this agreement will provide a path forward to address the challenges facing the health system and issues brought forward by physicians. We will work together with physicians as partners as we move forward.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“This agreement is good for physicians, patients and the health-care system. It will allow physicians to contribute to decision-making and provide expertise on what matters for patients. It provides increases in line with other settlements, valuable programs, business cost support, fair processes for working together on compensation or other matters and ways to resolve disputes. The agreement will help stabilize physician practices that are struggling with rising costs. Stability is critical to retain and attract physicians. There is hard work ahead, but we look forward to rebuilding the relationship with government and seeking solutions through collaboration.”

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, president, AMA
Province and physicians reach milestone agreement

AMA President Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren and Minister Jason Copping reach milestone agreement for physicians throughout Alberta.

The agreement will mean an investment of about $750 million in new funding over four years to stabilize the health-care system. This includes more than $250 million in targeted funding to address pressures, including recruitment and retention programs so more Albertans can access family doctors, and more support for practice viability.

To further strengthen the relationship with physicians, the government will repeal Section 40.2 of the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act that gives it the ability to terminate compensation-related agreements. In response, the AMA will stop the lawsuit against the government without seeking costs.

A total of 70.2 per cent of physicians who voted were in favour of the new framework. The agreement covers four fiscal years, from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2026.

Highlights of the agreement are:


  • One per cent rate increase in each of the first three years (2022-23 to 2024-25).

  • One per cent recognition lump sum payment in 2022-23.

  • The first three years of the agreement provide rate stability, with no market corrections for above or below market rates. Year four (2025-26) will involve:

    • Implementation of results from a comprehensive market rate review based on comparisons with Ontario-west jurisdictions.  

    • A global rate adjustment to reflect general economic and fiscal conditions.

    • Potential binding arbitration for both the market rate review and global rate adjustment.

    • Gainsharing in years three and four where the AMA can receive 50 per cent of any savings achieved by keeping cost growth below population and complexity.

Targeted investments

  • A total of $252 million over four years through $59 million in annual funding during the term of the agreement and $16 million in one-time investments to support practice viability and recruitment and retention of family physicians and specialists in communities facing issues.

    • $15 million annually for physician recruitment and retention.

    • $12 million annually for the Rural Remote Northern Program.

    • $12 million annually for physician support programs.

    • $2 million one-time investment for the Rural Education Supplement and Integrated Doctor Experience (RESIDE) Program.  

    • $20 million annually for the Business Costs Program.

    • $14 million one-time investment for change management and information technology.

Recruitment and retention

  • Up to $15 million annually to support recruitment and retention for physicians who practise full-time in underserved areas.

  • Up to $12 million annually to increase funding for the existing Rural Remote Northern Program, which provides financial incentives to physicians who live and practise in underserviced communities.

  • $12 million annually to enhance certain physician support programs, including the medical liability reimbursement program, continuing medical education program and physician locum programs.

  • A one-time investment of $2 million to increase funding for the existing RESIDE program that provides incentives for family physicians to practise in Alberta’s underserved rural and remote communities.

Practice viability

  • Increases to the Business Costs Program’s rate, which is estimated to increase Business Costs Program spending by about $20 million each year during the term of the proposed agreement. This program provides a premium to support physicians’ business costs, with greater impact on family physicians and specialists in office-based practices.

  • Up to $2 million in one-time funding to assess change management supports for physicians considering alternate payment models.

  • A one-time investment of up to $12 million over two years to support physicians in adopting new, integrated information technology systems that improve patient care across the province.

Primary health care

  • Lump sum increases for Primary Care Networks of $20 million in each of 2022-23 and 2023-24 to provide additional support for primary care while the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System work takes place.

Working collaboratively

  • Physicians will have shared responsibility to review compensation rates, relative to market, and help bring them into closer alignment with peer provinces. Engagement will continue with the AMA during the review process, as well as during the global rate adjustment, through joint committees.  

  • The agreement also outlines processes and other commitments to jointly address key issues related to physician compensation, including:

    • stipends, overhead and Z-codes

    • caps to daily visits

    • virtual code enhancements for psychiatry

    • extending physician support programs to medical examiners