Alberta government imposes contract on doctors, citing need for stability

Alberta’s health minister is imposing a one-year contract agreement with the province’s doctors.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s health minister is imposing a one-year contract agreement with the province’s doctors.

Alberta’s 6,500 doctors have been working under a contract extension since negotiations between the doctors and the province broke down last summer.

On Monday, Health Minister Fred Horne sent a letter to doctors advising them of a one-year agreement, citing the need for stability.

The interim agreement would give family doctors in Primary Care Networks an increase of $12 per capita.

All other physicians will get an increase of two per cent per fee for service and alternate relationship plans.

The new deal amounts to a total of $93 million.

The master agreement with the doctors expired almost two years ago. Horne says while the talks so far have been constructive, but it became clear that a short term agreement would be unlikely.

“We want the system to function in a stable and predictable way,” Horne said.

“That is important for patients but it’s very important for physicians and other health care providers.

“I’m hoping that it will send a signal to our doctors that they know we value them that we respect the work they do and we are committed to supporting them.”

The new fees will last until March 31, 2013.

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