(BLACK PRESS file image)

LETTER: Rural doctors in Alberta

‘The Alberta Medical Association has successfully negotiated for Alberta Doctors for over 100 years’

Dear Editor,

I was pleased to see that your paper covered the issue of local doctors threatening to leave Rimbey. But the cuts to doctors in urban centres should concern rural residents too.

This is not all about money as the UCP would have you believe. Doctors have been asking for arbitration for months and were willing to take a pay cut, but wanted input into how it was done so that they could still provide the best possible care for their patients.

If you ran a business, and make no mistake medical clinics have staff and overhead as well as patient care to consider, how would you feel if someone with no background in your field told you how to operate it? Not only that, your input into how to use your operating budget would not be considered.

Our rookie health Minister Tyler Shandro is a lawyer whose only experience with health care that I know of comes from the fact that his wife is part owner of a private health insurance company. No conflict of interest is implied here as he was cleared of that by our Ethics Commissioner.

The Alberta Medical Association has successfully negotiated for Alberta Doctors for over 100 years, but was not and is still not consulted about changes to our health care. Why won’t our health minister work with them now? Does he really believe that he knows more about providing care than the organization that represents Alberta’s 14,000 doctors, resident physicians and medical students?

This past Friday Tyler Shandro announced that $81 million will be spent to recruit rural physicians and to retain them. Shortly afterwards his office released a list of rural communities, about 140, which would no longer be able to access those funds. Shortly after that he announced that this was all a big mistake and that there were no changes to that list. All on his own.

While the AMA announced that they are pleased to see a temporary reprieve for rural doctors, the fact that their contract with the government was torn up before the end of its term means that changes, cuts and even our minister’s ‘uncuts’ can be made again at any time. Cuts for urban doctors have not been addressed. Should we be surprised that our doctors are suing the provincial government? Alberta doctors are left with nothing but uncertainty as they risk their lives and their families in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s time for everyone to let their member of Parliament know that we stand behind our doctors and trust them to look after us without this kind of uninformed government interference. And Tyler Shandro should resign immediately as he has lost the trust of our doctors by refusing to deal in good faith with the organization that represents them.


E. M. Schumacher

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

The future site of the Rimbey Travel Centre. Web photo
New Rimbey development aims to capitalize on highway traffic

Phase I of the Rimbey Travel Centre would be along Hwy. 20, if approved

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

Rimbey FCSS to introduce the Cultural Community Kitchen

The Cultural Community Kitchen sessions will be held at the Rimbey Co-op

UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

From l-r., first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on stage at the conclusion of the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump, Biden fight over the raging virus, climate and race

Republican president declared the virus, which killed more than 1,000 Americans on Thursday alone, will “go away.”

JJ Collett Natural Area Foundation held its AGM on Oct. 19 at the Ponoka Legion. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
De-listing Alberta parks creates ‘risk’ for coal mining: CPAWS

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society speaks at JJ Collett AGM

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

Most Read