Kelly McParland: Canadian doctors share national sense of disgruntlement

We were shocked, surprised. We were taken off guard, lamented Alberta Medical Association president Dr. Michael Giuffre. I would say our relationship is not good Why is this the first time in Albertas history that weve had an imposition on physicians? Why has this gone so sideways? The deal provides a one-time 2.5 per cent lump sum payment based on 2011-12 billings and annual cost-of-living adjustments for the next three years. Horne acknowledged the doctors wanted considerably more, but Alberta, despite its comparatively enviable economic position maintains it cant afford more. Just last week Premier Alison Redford announced the government had no choice but to borrow money for long-term projects, ending its reign as Canadas only debt-free province. The province says the deal is worth $463 million for the doctors, but the AMA said Tuesday that when other elements are accounted for it is out more than $200 million, and refused to accept the contract . We think that [Horne] will think through what he has done, said Giuffre, who is demanding new talks. He will see the effect its had on physicians. I can tell you that I have received hundreds of emails and hundreds of phone calls from very angry physicians that will not tolerate the imposition. Ontarios 25,000 doctors spent the summer making similarly belligerent noises after the government imposed $338 million in fee cuts, but ultimately agreed to a contract that theoretically freezes overall pay while reversing some of the imposed reductions. The OMA also pledged to find $100 million in savings, but some doctors argue the agreement will end up costing the province more money because it doesnt block physicians from earning more by seeing more patients or providing more services. If you clamp down on some fees like the annual physical, then lots of studies show that quite logically doctors will start billing for other things. You dont have to prescribe any malfeasance to this reality, said Dr.

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