Alberta Formalizes Relationship with Physicians

Proposed legislation would formalize government’s long-standing relationship with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA).

An Act to Recognize AMA Representation Rights would amend current legislation to make the AMA the exclusive representative when government consults physicians on compensation and benefits.

The AMA would also be the non-exclusive representative regarding other health matters that concern physicians, such as team-based care or how best to use information technology in the health system.

“I’m proud that our government has maintained a collaborative and constructive relationship with Alberta’s physicians, enabling us to stabilize health spending while improving patient care. This legislation was a commitment the government made as part of the recent agreement with doctors, and we’ve made good on that promise. I thank the AMA and all physicians for working with our government to meet Albertans’ health-care needs.”

~Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

Proposed amendments would also mean Alberta Health Services recognizes the AMA as the exclusive representative for negotiating certain service agreements with groups of physicians.

“Agreements with Alberta’s physicians have led the way to improved quality and access to care for patients. They have included advancement of electronic medical records, the introduction and evolution of Primary Care Networks, development of a provincial physician resource plan and programs to promote the most appropriate care. Ensuring clarity and formalizing the roles of the AMA and physicians in this regard is important to Albertans.”

~Dr. Alison Clarke, president, Alberta Medical Association

The new legislation would formalize existing processes that have been in use between government and the AMA, and it clearly establishes and articulates the roles and responsibilities of the AMA, while not granting any new powers.

If the bill is passed, the legislation would come into effect upon proclamation.