Page 1

Welcome to the Alberta Medical Association’s Section News – an opportunity for sections to report on their challenges  and objectives. This service helps sections communicate with all AMA members as well as physicians in their own specialties. Your feedback is encouraged. Please contact Agnes E. McIntyre, Administrative Assistant, Section Services: T 780.482.2626; TF 1.800.272.9680; email

February 2013

Section of Occupational Medicine Dr. Kenneth J. Corbet, President Please take note of these practice resources and learning opportunities: 1. CMPA Perspective: Administrative medicine carries medico-legal risk, too (December 2012): e910b7ee/1 2. The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) has amended the Guidelines to Billing Uninsured Services booklet to remove the fee distinction between primary care physician/specialist in family medicine and other certified specialists. The revised guide is available for AMA members to download and/or print from the AMA website (login required): services/physicians/compensation/uninsured 3. CMA Driver’s Guide: Determining Medical Fitness to Operate Motor Vehicles - 8th Edition (2012): 4. Resolving Addictions in the Workplace. HealthQuest, Burnaby, BC. May 24: 5. American College of Chest Physicians. Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease. Toronto, ON. June 21-23: 6. The 5th Jack Pepys Workshop on Asthma in the Workplace will be held in Montreal (McGill University), May 17. Six themes for comparisons will be covered:

• • • • • •

Mechanisms and physiopathology. Epidemiology and risk factors. Etiological factors. Diagnosis and clinical aspects. Psychosocial and economical aspects. Outcome, management and treatment.

For information, please contact: Jocelyne Normandin

Section of Pediatrics Dr. Raphael F. Sharon, President � Annual General Meeting (AGM), March 14

The AGM for the Section of Pediatrics of the Alberta Medical Association will be held via videoconference from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There will be a catered dinner, so we would appreciate your RSVP (indicating whether you will be attending Edmonton or Calgary) to Amanda Lacombe at ( The information on the videoconference: #514509 - Alberta Section of Pediatric Meeting Site



*CAL - Alberta Children’s Hospital, B4-010

Edmonton EDM - Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, 2A6.062 An agenda will be sent out closer to the date, but amongst other topics we will be discussing an update of the contract negotiations and election of new Section president and new president-elect. This event is posted on the AMA website (https://

Section of Rural Medicine Dr. Tobias N.M. Gelber, President

I bring to this position my experience working in a comprehensive primary care practice that has a co‑located allied health care team (a team funded by our primary care network [PCN]). I have been working in this model even before PCNs came into existence, as we formed this team with grant funding from the capacity building fund back in 2003.

Please send any comments on this submission to Ms Nella Papaianni, Manager, General Practice Liaison (

I also bring my experience with practice improvement. I first became involved with this in 2005 when the Chinook Primary Care Network engaged the services of Mark Murray and Associates to put on what was then called Office Practice Redesign (which later evolved into Access Improvement Measures [AIM]). I have been a faculty member with AIM since its inception in 2007 and have led six AIM collaborations as a faculty member.

� Report from our Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Our AGM was held on January 26 at the Banff Park Lodge in conjunction with the Emergency Medicine for Rural Hospitals Conference. For the year in review, read the “Section of Rural Medicine’s President Report” (, login required). After 10 years as SRM President, Dr. Allan S. Garbutt has stepped down and moves on to a broader representative role as AMA president-elect.

Finally, I have been on the leadership committee for our PCN for the last two years. I intend to bring what I’ve learned from these experiences to the table as we have continued interactions with government and continue to work to improve the delivery of primary care in Alberta.

At the AGM, Dr. Garbutt was thanked for his many years of service and advocacy on behalf of rural medicine. We also extended our best wishes to him (and his wife Bev) as he assumes the responsibilities of president-elect.

I greatly value communication. I welcome emails from you with any concerns that you think I might be able to help you with. On the flip side, I will endeavor to keep you abreast of developments as they arise. I look forward to serving in this position.

To read a copy of Dr. Garbutt’s farewell letter to rural physicians, read the “Letter from Dr. Garbutt, January 2013” (, login required). If you’d like to send a message of thanks to Dr. Garbutt, please email

Welcome, Dr. Edward J. Aasman! Dr. Aasman, a family practitioner from Rocky Mountain House, is a new member on the SRM Executive Committee.

� Your 2013 SRM Executive Committee

The 2013 SRM Executive Committee members are: • • • • • •

Dr. Tobias N.M. Gelber, President. Dr. Allan S. Garbutt, Immediate Past President. Dr. Leslie (Les) R. Cunning, Treasurer. Dr. Edward J. Aasman, Member-at-Large. Dr. Scott B. Loree, Member-at-Large. Dr. David W. Wildeboer, Member-at-Large.

Like me, Dr. Aasman has been active in the AMA since he was a medical student and has served on the PCN Executive, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) General Council and on the AMA Representative Forum (RF). Thanks to Dr. Aasman for taking on this SRM representative role. His knowledge and experience will greatly benefit the section.

� A message from Dr. Gelber

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I have lived and worked as a family physician and GP anesthetist in the Pincher Creek area for the last 10 years (where I moved immediately after finishing my family medicine training and anesthesia training year at the University of Calgary). I have always practiced in an unopposed group practice.

Alberta Medical Association


February 2013 Section News

General Practice/Rural Medicine

“She blames us for the province’s financial woes. (This is not government’s first volley of distorted information; last November the health minister made misleading comments about the settlement that he unsuccessfully attempted to impose.)

◊ Section of General Practice Dr. Ann R. Vaidya, President T 403.873.2352 F 403.873.2364

“This misinformation appears to be delivered with intent by the premier. Her statements need explanation and correction. For a fact-based backgrounder providing accurate and most up‑to‑date information, visit our website (

◊ Section of Rural Medicine Dr. Tobias N.M. Gelber, President Please send any comments on this submission to Ms Nella Papaianni, Manager, General Practice Liaison (

“I believe we clearly demonstrate that when it comes to rising health care costs, physicians are not the problem … Let’s stop dwelling on the wrong data and the wrong questions and the wrong ideas and get back to job one: successful conclusion of mediated negotiations.”

� How we’re involved in the Primary

Care Alliance

The sections of General Practice and Rural Medicine continue to work hard representing primary care physicians within the Primary Care Alliance (PCA).

We say, “Hear, hear, Dr. Giuffre.” It is important that our members stay informed. We strongly encourage you to read all the issues of the AMA President’s Letter (

Our two sections, along with the PCN Physicians Leads Executive, are the guiding partners of the PCA.

At the December 2012 Special RF, the profession spoke with a unified voice. In the near future, it will be more important than ever to remain united.

Dr. Vaidya, SGP President, is the SGP representative on the PCA Board. SRM President Dr. Gelber (who is also the current chair of the PCA Board) is the SRM representative. Dr. Gelber is currently the PCA Chair.

We have been warned in the past that the government’s primary goal is to divide the profession. Our best defense against government (and a way to strongly advocate for our patients) is to remain united. Together our voice is powerful.

For the most current news on all the important activities related to primary care, please see the PCA Board submission in this issue of Section News.

� Minister’s Advisory Committee on Primary Care

Dr. Ann Vaidya is the AMA representative to the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Primary Care. The minister indicated at the last meeting in January that the ministry wants a more structured approach to health care, one involving system-wide changes. The minister wants to see every patient linked to a primary care team and to see stronger links between primary care and specialists to reduce the number of inappropriate consultations. Much of this committee’s mandate involves the development of family care clinics (FCCs), and the minister has also invited the Primary Care Alliance and Alberta Health Services (AHS) to take on the task of evolving PCNs to the next level. He has offered resources from the ministry and KPMG consultants to allow this to move forward. The perceived lack of PCN measurement continues to be a concern for him.

� Negotiations and the need for unity

Frustration with the lack of progress in negotiations with government continues. We’ve heard from many of you on this issue and want to assure you that your comments are taken very seriously when your executive members represent you in meetings. Both the sections of General Practice and Rural Medicine executive committees, along with the PCA Board, are working closely with the AMA on primary care related issues in negotiations. The AMA continues to advocate for our interests as physicians, ensuring that our ability to put our Patients First® isn’t compromised. In a recent President’s Letter, Dr. R. Michael Giuffre states, “For the past seven days, the premier has been making inaccurate statements that Alberta physicians are paid 20-29% above the national average. Alberta Medical Association


February 2013 Section News

The ministry recognizes that the medical home model is an important part of enhancing PCNs. Several subcommittees and working groups have been set up (at the AMA, Alberta Health [AH] and AHS levels) to move these projects forward.

notify your Section (SGP or SRM) and the AMA. We will arrange for any appointed doctors to get support from AMA.

Please review the information contained in the submission from the Primary Care Alliance in this issue of Section News for further information.

Thank you to all who have already completed their AMA membership renewal and have chosen to support the sections of General Practice and/or Rural Medicine through section membership. If you have not, SGP and SRM need your support.

� Supporting your section

� A word of caution about FCC contracts

The AMA continues to try to work with government on FCCs. The SGP and SRM executives caution members about FCC single-doctor contracts or contracts with small groups of doctors. Government may try to negotiate directly with physicians, bypassing the AMA. It is absolutely critical that doctors have legal advice before signing anything. You want to avoid inadvertent consequences arising from your contract such as untenable call schedules, insufficient safeguards against payment rate changes, etc. At the very least, doctors should carefully vet a contract with a lawyer familiar with labor law. The AMA is willing (and actually keen) to help with any FCC negotiation. Contact the AMA for advice and assistance if such situations arise for you.

Your section membership dues fund a wide range of work, from dealing with allocation increases to the Physician Services Budget to influencing the direction of negotiations. In addition, with your support, section executives work within the AMA on issues such as: • Physician compensation: Fee increases, allocation, overhead, fee equity, remuneration for chronic and complex care. • Primary care landscape: Primary care networks, family care clinics, strategic clinical networks and workforce planning. • Patient care: Pharmacist prescribing, pandemic planning, access to specialist care, infection prevention and control. • Other: Physician advocacy, funding section and committee meetings, funding clinical care initiatives and leadership activities. Revenue from section membership dues allows for increased leadership capacity in the areas of general/ family practice and helps increase your section’s visibility and influence within the primary care landscape. Most importantly, your section can advance Patients First® and promote positive medical practice environments. Negotiations with government and the proposed changes to primary care are at the forefront of most physicians’ minds. Now, more than ever, we need support to better represent you. Become a section member today.

� Coming together: Physicians and patients at

our first Primary Care Summit

On February 2, the AMA hosted its first Primary Care Summit. Patients and physicians from the Edmonton‑area came together to discuss how primary care is working in Alberta and how it can be improved. We asked patients about how best to meet their needs and current or past experiences within the health care system. We’ll have a full report of this summit available soon, but we can tell you that patients wholeheartedly support the concept of their physicians leading their care.

� Upcoming conference: Pediatric Emergencies

� Sitting on government committees

Alberta Children’s Hospital (PEACH) Conference March 8-9

You may be approached by Alberta Health and/or Alberta Health Services to sit as a representative on various primary care committees, boards, working groups, etc.

For information about this conference, visit peach‑conference-2013

Being the only primary care physician on a large committee can be a challenge. If you are approached to sit on a committee by anyone other than AMA, please

Alberta Medical Association


February 2013 Section News

Primary Care Alliance ◊ Section of General Practice Dr. Ann R. Vaidya, President T 403.873.2352 F 403.873.2364 ◊ Section of Rural Medicine Dr. Tobias N.M. Gelber (Chair), President ◊ PCN Leads Executive Dr. Phillip W. van der Merwe, Chair

� PCN Physician Leads Forum

The Spring 2013 PCN Physician Leads Forum will be held on March 8-9, at the Matrix Hotel in Edmonton. We’ll focus on bringing the PCN concept to the next level. To register: pcnphysicianleadsforum032013 If you have questions about the forum please contact: Ms Linda Ertman (T 780.733.3632; Email: linda. Future forum dates are: • October 18-19 (Calgary) • March 7-8, 2014 (Edmonton) • October 3-4, 2014 (Calgary)

The PCA issues a joint Section News submission about issues affecting general practitioners. Please send any comments and feedback on this submission to Ms Linda Ertman (Program Coordinator, Practice Management Program) at linda.ertman@ � Blueprint and action plan for Alberta PCNs

In January, the minister of health asked the PCA Board to develop a blueprint and action plan for the evolution of primary care networks in Alberta. We have developed a draft project charter to look at structure, governance, funding and the basket of services being provided with recommendations for enhancements, etc. Work on this initiative will take place over the next few months (we’ll send you regular updates about our progress). � Primary care action plan priorities

Work continues on the priorities outlined in the Primary Care Action and Project Plan. The PCA Board commissioned two subcommittees to develop discussion papers and potential models for formal attachment and primary care accreditation. The PCN Board has reviewed both discussion papers and will further distribute the documents to the executives of the Section of General Practice, Section of Rural Medicine and the PCN Physician Leads Executive. After being reviewed, the papers will go to the AMA Board of Directors for review before being shared with the membership for greater input and feedback.

Alberta Medical Association


February 2013 Section News

Section News  

February 2013 issue - Section News provides an opportunity for Alberta Medical Association (AMA) member sections to report on their challeng...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you