Tentative deal with fee-for-service doctors reached, Flemming says
If ratified, new contract with New Brunswick Medical Society takes effect April 1
The Alward government has reached a tentative agreement with the province's fee-for-service doctors, Health Minister Ted Flemming announced on Tuesday.
“The New Brunswick Medical Society has demonstrated its commitment to working with government to create a sustainable health-care system," Flemming said in a statement.
"Our tentative agreement contains measures that will produce additional savings without affecting the quality of care that patients receive," he said, describing the deal as "fair."
No details are being released until a ratification vote is held.
If the deal is ratified, the new contract will take effect on April 1.
Last year, the province's doctors took the Alward government to court over a plan to cap and cut medicare payments by $20 million in an effort to reduce health-care costs.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge ruled the medical society's 2009 agreement with the government remained in effect and was binding until 2014.
The current contract, which expires at the end of March, saw doctors accept a two-year freeze on what they could bill medicare.
The medical society represents about 1,600 doctors across the province.
"This tentative agreement moves several key initiatives forward that will improve both the quality of patient care and the sustainability of our health system for future generations," said society president Dr. Lynn Hansen.