AMA head slams Redford's 'misleading' pay comments
President of medical association says Alberta premier has hindered negotiations
Posted: Feb 12, 2013 5:28 PM MT
Last Updated: Feb 12, 2013 5:23 PM MT
The head of the Alberta Medical Association is continuing the war of words between the province's doctors and the government.
In an open letter released Tuesday, Dr. Michael Giuffre provides a detailed rebuttal of comments made recently by Premier Alison Redford concerning how much money physicians make.
According to Redford, Alberta doctors earn between 20 and 29 per cent more than their counterparts across the country.
Giuffre said Alberta physicians earn just 14 per cent more than the national average.
But he said the premier fails to take into account overhead costs that come with running a medical practice, including facilities, equipment and administration.
“These overhead costs are high in Alberta. For example, Albertans in general across all industries earn 20 per cent above the national average. This affects what physicians must pay for the staff in their offices,” Giuffre’s letter stated.
The Alberta Medical Association and the province have been negotiating a new deal for doctors for almost two years. The deadline for those talks was recently extended until after Redford's government delivers its 2013-14 budget on March 7.
The AMA head went on to take issue with Redford’s suggestion last month that the only way the province could afford to increase doctors’ pay would be to re-introduce health care premiums.
“This contention is completely out of proportion and incorrect,” he said. Re-introduction of health care premiums would give the government about $1 billion in revenue. But a one per cent increase in fees paid to physicians’ practices would cost the government $25-30 million, Giuffre said.
Giuffre also said in his letter that if doctors do not receive a cost of living increase, some medical practices will be forced to close, which could leave some patients without care.
Premier Redford’s contention that doctor pay accounts for 8.5 per cent of the provincial budget is also countered in Giuffre’s letter.
“This is not “doctor pay”; it represents funding which operates every physician’s practice across the entire province. Those practices employ thousands of Albertans and treat more than three million patients annually,” he said.
Latest Calgary News Headlines
- Southern Alberta braces for heavy rainfall, snow
- With Calgary and many parts of southern Alberta expecting a lot of rain over the next few days, officials are telling people to take some precautions. more »
- Trudeau raises environmental questions over pipeline
- Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says a proposed west-east pipeline project will not go forward unless it addresses key environmental concerns. more »
- Calgary man charged with murder in 2012 killing
- Police have charged a man with first-degree murder in connection with a killing outside a southwest Calgary strip mall one year ago. more »
- Stampeders' Jon Cornish motivated by Grey Cup loss
- Star Canadian running back Jon Cornish wants to work on his pass routes this season but his coach will be smiling if he just continues doing what he did last year. more »
Top News Headlines
- How was the Mike Duffy report 'whitewashed?'
- Opposition parties pushed the government on Thursday to answer questions about the "whitewashed" Duffy report while the RCMP is also seeking more information from the Senate as part of its review of questionable expenses. more »
- 2nd suspect in Tim Bosma murder case to plead not guilty
- The lawyer for Mark Smich says the Oakville, Ont., resident will plead not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton man who disappeared earlier this month after taking two men on a test drive of his truck. more »
- Chat about the rise of binge TV watching on Thursday 7 p.m.
- After a seven year hiatus, Netflix is set to release a new season of Arrested Development -- and some fans are already predicting they'll watch all 15 episodes in one sitting. This week on CBC Live Online, host Lauren O'Neil will speak with a panel of guests and viewers like you about the rise of binge TV watching. Harmless hobby or horrible habit? more »
- SNC-Lavalin letter says Gadhafi son offered VP post: RCMP
- SNC-Lavalin's ties to Libya's former dictatorship ran so deep the company offered the son of Moammar Gadhafi a six-figure job as a vice president in 2008, according to a newly unsealed RCMP affidavit. more »
- Calgary teen found dead had been in provincial care
- Alberta's pest list includes 60 critters
- Northwest Calgary park set for overhaul
- Busy parking spots in Calgary may soon cost more
- Animals rescued from shelter in SPCA probe
- Liam, Emma, most popular names for Alberta babies
- Lindale fire doubles in size within hours
- S.E. Calgary man missing since February
- Danielle Smith slams Redford at Calgary leader's dinner