Alberta’s doctors say proposed changes to their pay and practice rules are cynical and heavy-handed and will make future physicians think twice about working in the province.
Dr. Christine Molnar, head of the Alberta Medical Association, says in a letter to members that a bill now before the legislature would allow the government to unilaterally rip up the current pay deal – and any future pay deals – with doctors.
Molnar says the government is dealing “cynically” with doctors by asking them to sign onto deals that only physicians would be duty-bound to honour.
On Monday, Finance Minister Travis Toews introduced legislation as part of his budget that would allow the government to cancel its master agreement with doctors if the two sides can’t negotiate a new deal.
The bill also proposes giving the government the power to tie any new doctor’s billing privileges to where he or she practices in order to get more physicians to work in under-serviced rural areas.
Molnar says such a plan is unfairly restrictive, has failed in Atlantic Canada and would make new physicians question why they would want to work in Alberta.
© 2019 The Canadian Press