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New imposed pay plan a good deal for Alberta doctors: Premier Jason Kenney

Alberta government ends master agreement with doctors
WATCH ABOVE: The current contract between Alberta physicians and the province has been terminated. As Jill Croteau reports, while the health ministry maintains this will be better for patients, doctors say the opposite will be true.

Premier Jason Kenney says even with looming changes to physician pay in the province, Alberta’s doctors will still be the best compensated in Canada.

And Kenney says given those numbers, he can’t understand why doctors would want to leave the province for perceived greener economic pastures.

Calgary physicians raise alarm on billing changes
Calgary physicians raise alarm on billing changes

READ MORE: Alberta government ends master agreement with doctors; new rules coming April 1

LISTEN BELOW: Dr. Darren Markland, a critical care physician, joins the Ryan Jespersen Show

Kenney made the comments a day after Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Alberta was terminating its master agreement with doctors and imposing a number of changes to pay rules and programs.

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Alberta health minister announces new physician funding framework
Alberta health minister announces new physician funding framework

Doctors say those changes, particularly to fees for visits to family doctors, could bankrupt many rural and general practices.

READ MORE: In response to AHS review, Red Deer surgeon says doctors already prioritize procedures

Shandro says the changes need to be made because Alberta doctors make more than physicians in other provinces, taking in almost $390,000 in gross clinical earnings in 2018-19 — $90,000 more than doctors in Ontario.

The Alberta Medical Association disputes those numbers, saying they are based on faulty apples-to-oranges comparisons.

LISTEN BELOW: Dr. Christina Molnar, president of the Alberta Medical Association, joins the Ryan Jespersen Show

The AMA says it commissioned its own study that found Alberta doctors get $386,000 a year on average, which is more than the national average of $346,000 but reflects the reality that wages across Alberta’s job spectrum are higher.

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