Statement from Dr. David Swann on the tentative agreement reached by Alberta Health and the Alberta Medical Association

Edmonton, AB (August 31, 2016): Dr. David Swann made this statement regarding today’s announcement of a tentative agreement between Alberta Health and the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), with Alberta Health Services (AHS) actively involved for the first time in years:

“While I am happy to see Alberta Health, AHS and the AMA negotiating well in advance of the 2018 contract expiry date, I do not, at this point, see meaningful progress towards an improved, sustainable health care system.

“Associate Minister Brandy Payne and AMA president Dr. Carl Nohr were unwilling to provide details ahead of a vote by the AMA membership.

“Of particular concern in relation to doctor’s fees was the announcement this month of modest reductions in only three fee codes out of approximately 3,000 billing codes for physicians.

“The announced limited trial of a blended capitation model, as opposed to fee-for-service, provides more hope for limiting cost increases. I urge Alberta Health and the AMA to expand this trial and thereby lay the groundwork for a model that rewards time spent and quality of care.

“The NDP government is in the unenviable position of having to clean up after years of neglect by the PCs. Nonetheless, difficult economic decisions must be made in order to preserve a healthcare system Albertan’s can rely on”