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The Alberta government, which has just emerged from the failure of contract negotiations with doctors, is ending its long-standing framework agreement with them and introducing new rules on April 1. “If he maintains that position and approach in the next round of negotiations and has both an improved attitude and perhaps improved terms in the deal, I think we could actually see a deal come to fruition,” Hardcastle said. These challenges began in early 2020, when Shandro unilaterally tore up the framework agreement with WADA using legislation passed months earlier by the United Conservative government. While the benefits to physicians in the agreement are minimal, it was considered that they would have a seat at the table for budget management and an increased voice in discussions about physician compensation. However, it is not clear whether the minister would have approached these discussions collaboratively. While the Department`s discretion is not limited to the agreement and, indeed, some of that discretion is enshrined in medicare legislation, language such as “Nothing in this agreement binds the authority or discretion of the Minister” has left some with a climate of mistrust and concern about how to exercise these powers. the alarm bells ring. The agreement of 26 February sets out the proposed budget for medical services for the next three years: the current framework agreement with doctors ends on 31 March. In particular, when the Ontario government and the Ontario Medical Association adopted arbitration over their indemnification agreement, the arbitrator stated that “no other Canadian jurisdiction applies a strict cap” and found that the Ontario Minister of Health could not restrict the services patients receive by “requiring Ontario physicians: subsidize public services”,” because this would be “the direct result of the imposition of a rigid ceiling”.

The agreement brings doctors and the government together to provide health care, said AMA President Boucher. Tensions between Health Secretary Tyler Shandro and doctors began in the fall of 2019, when the government passed a bill to unilaterally end doctors` compensation agreements as part of compensation negotiations with the AMA. “For many years, THE AMA`s agreements have been powerful tools to improve the quality of care, bringing great value to the system and to patients,” said Mr. Boucher. “It`s not just about funding doctors.” After a year and a half of bitterness towards the Secretary of Health, Alberta doctors voted not to ratify the interim compensation agreement between the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and the government. “Any agreement really requires both parties to work well together,” Boucher said. Alberta`s doctors voted against an agreement in principle with the provincial government. A ratification vote would also have meant ending WADA`s charter claim against the government.

In view of the decision not to ratify the Agreement, WADA may continue to pursue this claim to seek binding arbitration. These actions looked like a dishonest attempt to influence the ratification vote and were too few, too late. In the end, despite Shandro`s efforts to appear contrite, doctors voted not to ratify the deal. Since the government unilaterally tore up the framework agreement in February, some doctors have resigned or threatened to leave practices at smaller centers such as Pincher Creek, Ponoka and Lac La Biche, while the AMA is embroiled in an ongoing battle of words and will with the government. Alberta Health committed in the agreement to submit legislation by December 31, 2021 that would exempt the agreement from legislation allowing the government to terminate the framework agreement with WADA. “I think the intention would be that if the agreement addresses the issues in our lawsuit, then you know it would be, we would let it go,” Boucher said. The agreement states that Alberta Health will monitor spending under the medical services budget on a monthly basis, and if actual costs are expected to exceed budgeted costs, “it will determine whether strategies and measures to reduce spending should be implemented.” CBC News has received a leaked copy of the agreement, which amA members are currently reviewing for possible ratification. The tentative agreement follows a bitter public battle between the two sides that began in February 2020, when Shandro unilaterally ended the WADA framework and imposed a new physician compensation framework. The draft Alberta Convention provided for non-binding mediation instead of binding arbitration to resolve disputes, with the mediator`s recommendations becoming public.

Myhr declined to comment Thursday. WaDA has taken the position of not commenting publicly to avoid influencing doctors who are now voting on the proposed new deal. “It was encouraging to observe that even though there was disagreement about the best choice, there was still a consensus on the things that unite us. Everyone recognizes the significant challenges we will face in the coming years, such as the fragility of the economy, changes due to new health laws and a possible third wave of COVID-19 as the supply deficit caused by the pandemic continues to increase,” Boucher wrote in a letter on the association`s website. Shandro invoked the new power last year, saying talks with WADA were at an impasse. The framework agreement was terminated and Shandro announced a plan to pass a series of sweeping changes in doctors` compensation, but withdrew some of the controversial plans. On the other hand, if the doctors had ratified the agreement, the minister could have stifled the criticism by pointing out that the doctors had accepted these conditions and that he had only acted within the framework of the agreement. “We have negotiated what we believe to be a reasonable approach to the situation we find ourselves in and the best deal for our members given our tax environment,” WADA said in a press release. “It meets the government`s financial mandate, but also provides fairness to physicians and added value to our patients. In February 2020, the government took the unprecedented step of terminating the existing agreement with physicians before it expires and implementing the 11 proposed fee changes.

Due to considerable opposition, Minister Shandro subsequently reversed some of the changes to fees. If the mediation report is not accepted by both parties, Alberta Health “agrees to review the mediation report before making the final decision on the issue being mediated,” the agreement states. The Alberta Medical Association said 59 per cent of its 11,000 members participated in the vote and 53 per cent voted against the deal. The agreement lists four lawyers who can act as mediators. The arbitration was overturned by the province when it rejected the framework agreement last year. The WADA has previously called arbitration critical because physicians cannot leave work for ethical reasons to gain influence at the bargaining table. Last fall, Premier Jason Kenney`s United Conservatives passed Bill 21, which gives the government the right to unilaterally terminate the agreement. Following the government`s termination of the compensation agreement, the relationship with doctors deteriorated due to incidents such as the minister of health, who insulted a doctor in his driveway and blocked dozens of doctors on Twitter (hindering their access to official political announcements). .

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