Edmonton

Doctors direct letter to health minister's constituents

A group of 27 physicians want constituents in Health Minister Fred Horne's riding of Edmonton-Rutherford to get him to resume negotiations with the Alberta Medical Association.

A group of 27 physicians want constituents in Health Minister Fred Horne's riding of Edmonton-Rutherford to get him to resume negotiations with the Alberta Medical Association.

The letter from the doctors, posted on the web site of the Alberta Medical Association, warns that the deal imposed by Horne on Nov. 16th may result in changes to "community-based family medicine as you know it" and will limit the way in which doctors can advocate for patients.

"The minister's imposition has galvanized the medical community in a way that has been unprecedented in my 17 years," said Dr. Brian McPeak.

"Not only will the minister and the government receive pressure from the medical community to revisit things, but hopefully they'll also receive pressure from their constituents."

Horne took doctors by surprise when he announced he was making them accept a five-year, $463 million compensation package, after he felt that 20 months of negotiations had resulted in an impasse.

Horne and Dr. Michael Giuffre, president of the AMA, will meet on Thursday, the first time since the contract was imposed.