July 18th, 2024

Medical association sets up team to lead input on health commitments

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on December 8, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The Alberta Medical Association is working to ensure the provincial government includes in the 2024-25 budget commitments it has made to support family medicine and rural generalists.

Dr. Paul Parks, president of the AMA and an Emergency Department physician in Medicine Hat, says that intense work is underway on the memorandum of understanding signed by the province and the AMA and that the association’s board “has committed every necessary AMA resource. Proposals that are being developed for longitudinal family practice and immediate sustainability must benefit all aspects of family medicine and rural generalist practice, we do not have the luxury of time.”

The AMA has formed what it calls a “strike team,” an internal group which will lead the AMA’s input on the MOU.

The team includes representation from the AMA sections of family medicine and rural medicine as well as the PCN Physician Leads Executive.

The team is meeting weekly to develop proposals for discussions with Alberta Health Services.

The strike team is focused on three things including:

• Core elements of a new payment model supporting longitudinal family practice and other existing model improvements including costing and budget.

• Other elements of immediate stabilization in primary care.

• Administrative burden.

The MOU “commits the parties to work together regarding design and implementation of a longitudinal family practice (LFP) physician compensation model that reflects family physicians’ and rural generalists’ extensive training, experience and leadership in primary health care,” says Parks.

The MOU will also involved work on updating and improving existing funding models

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