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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 Alexis Caddy, Communications Consultant, or Agnes E. McIntyre, Administrative Assistant, Section Services: T 780.482.2626; TF 1.800.272.9680; email: or

February 2012

Primary Care Alliance

‘‘ Negotiations

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

The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) issued a President’s Letter January 20 indicating that negotiations between AMA, Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Health Services (AHS) have resumed after a long hiatus.

◊ Section of Rural Medicine Dr. Allan S. Garbutt, President T 403.562.8804 F 403.562.2905 ◊ PCN Leads Executive Dr. Allan L. Bailey T 780.962.9888 On behalf of the Primary Care Alliance (PCA), the Section of General Practice, Section of Rural Medicine, the Primary Care Network (PCN) Physician Leads Executive and the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) issue a joint Section News submission about current issues affecting general practitioners. All comments and feedback on the PCA Section News submission should be emailed to Ms Nella Papaianni, Manager, General Practice Liaison (

It stated, “…while there are a host of specific issues in any negotiations, broad categories of what needs to be addressed are economic factors such as climbing physician overheads, support for primary care, support for specialist care and finding ways to allow for physician involvement with meaningful changes in the delivery of health care. Additionally, we need ways to build and maintain effective sustainable relationships with government including continuance, ways to resolve disputes and representation.” The PCA Board continues to work with the AMA Negotiating Committee in the areas of primary care‑related issues. The PCA is creating a new working group to identify issues and opportunities within primary care around negotiations and will report their findings to the joint Negotiating Committee. The working group name, terms of reference and members will be finalized shortly. Stay tuned for more details. Please watch for President’s Letters regarding negotiations updates in the coming weeks.

‘‘ Family Care Clinics (FCCs)

future of health care and to promote family medicine to students.

As many of you know, government announced plans to introduce three or four FCCs early this year. FCCs are essentially team-based clinics in which different health professionals – including nurse practitioners, physicians, physiotherapists and others – work together out of a single location.

‘‘ ACFP Annual Scientific Assembly (ASA)

The ACFP ASA will be held February 23-25 at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff. SGP and SRM, on behalf of the PCA, are sponsoring this event as exhibitors under the PCA banner. The ACFP ASA provides family physicians with continuing medical education workshops and sessions, and an opportunity to network with colleagues to discuss best practices.

The AMA received an invitation from the minister to participate in an advisory committee that will be tasked with monitoring and evaluating the FCC pilots. The AMA will send a representative(s) and other health profession groups will also be involved. PCA is working with AMA to represent primary care physicians concerns and needs on the committee and at an upcoming meeting with AHW on the relationship between family physician clinics/PCNs and FCCs.

For more information or to register, please visit ACFP’s ASA web page. ‘‘ PCN Physician Leads Forum (March 2-3)

The next PCN Physician Leads Forum is being held in Edmonton on March 2-3. The program is being developed, however, some of the topics being considered include: FCCs and physician leadership development (role of the gatekeeper and the interdisciplinary team environment). We will keep you posted as the agenda develops. Please contact Ms Linda Ertman ( if you have questions about the forum.

For more information about the AMA’s position on FCCs, please read the December 23, 2011 or January 20, 2012 President’s Letters. ‘‘ PCA Board meetings

The PCA Board had two meetings (January 21 and February 1) to discuss some key issues that arose over the past few weeks. Topics included: • Negotiations – see above. • Family Care Clinics (FCCs) – see above. • Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) – the potential creation of an additional SCN focused on primary care. • Allied health professionals – potential strategies for engaging other allied health professionals. • PCA Forum – plans and objectives for the upcoming PCA Forum meeting (February 17). Also discussed was a process of election for the two at-large PCA Board positions.

‘‘ PCN Physician Leads/MLA engagement

The PCN Physician Leads have been asked to arrange a time to meet with their MLAs by mid-February to discuss the value of local PCNs. PCN briefing notes were provided to assist with the meetings. In addition, Practice Management Program consultants are willing to provide additional assistance. Please contact Ms Linda Ertman ( for more information. ‘‘ Events, feedback and interests

• Cancer Care ○ March 16 – Family Physician Roundtable Discussion to Improve Cancer Care (log in) hosted by AHS Cancer Care.  Roundtable priority assessment form – AHS Cancer Care asks physicians to complete an assessment form to help the planning committee determine what topics are most relevant for the Round Table Discussion to Improve Cancer Care.

‘‘ Alberta Medical Students’ Conference and

Retreat (AMSCAR)

SGP and SRM, on behalf of PCA, were platinum sponsors for AMSCAR (February 3-5) jointly with the ACFP, Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary and Department of Family Medicine, Alberta Health Services. The PCA sponsored the event to recognize the importance of supporting medical students in the

Alberta Medical Association


February 2012 Section News

Section of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. J.R. Bruce Bristowe, President

RSVPs are our indicators for attendance at the videoconference sites. Please RSVP your attendance or for additional information on videoconference sites, please email Ms Amanda Lacombe (amanda.lacombe@

Alberta clinical practice guidelines for breast cancer screening are currently under revision at TOP (Toward Optimum Practice). Guidelines for screening mammography will address the broader context of the role of screening.

RSVPs are requested NO LATER THAN Tuesday, April 10.

Physicians should know the following about breast cancer screening:

Sites without attendees will be cancelled on April 15. Attendance cities:

1. Women of any age can get breast cancer. Alberta community clinics recorded 1,221 cancers detected by breast screening in 2010. a. 17.4% in age 40–49 b. 28.8% in age 50–59 c. 30.1% in age 60–69 d. 23.8% in age 70+

• • • • • • • •

2. 77% of Albertan women are diagnostically assessed, if required, within four days, many of them within one day. Average time to biopsy for some 3,953 women was 10.9 days, 45% of those within five days.

Section of Rural Medicine Dr. Allan S. Garbutt, President T 403.562.8804 F 403.562.2905

3. The smaller the cancer, the more easily it is treated. 4. Most women who get breast cancer do NOT have a family history.

‘‘ Annual General Meeting (AGM)

5. The key to screening is finding the differences from one exam to the next.

The Section of Rural Medicine’s (SRM’s) AGM was held January 21 at the Banff Park Lodge. Items discussed include:

6. Mammography is not perfect but remains the only screening test proven to reduce mortality from breast cancer.

• Elections – The following SRM Executive Committee members were acclaimed for one-year terms: ○ Dr. Allan S. Garbutt, President ○ Dr. Tobias N.M. Gelber, President-Elect ○ Dr. Leslie (Les) R. Cunning, Treasurer ○ Dr. Scott B. Loree, Member-at-Large ○ Dr. David W. Wildeboer, Member-at-Large

Section of Laboratory Physicians Dr. Lisa M. Steele, President ‘‘ ASLP annual spring section meeting

(videoconference meeting)

The Section of Laboratory Physicians (ASLP) is hosting the ASLP annual spring section meeting on Friday, April 20 at 11:30 a.m.

• Negotiations – Mike A. Gormley, Executive Director, AMA, provided an update on the status of negotiations. He indicated that formal negotiations have begun again and upcoming meetings are planned. SRM will continue to advocate for rural physician issues and interests. Please stay tuned for negotiation updates in the President’s Letter.

This meeting is taking place via videoconference and all Alberta pathologists and pathology residents are invited. ******RSVP is required******

Alberta Medical Association

Bonnyville Calgary Edmonton Fort McMurray Grande Prairie Lethbridge Medicine Hat Red Deer


February 2012 Section News

• Family Care Clinics (FCCs) – Mr. Gormley also provided an update on FCCs. Government is advancing FCCs with three currently planned for this year. The AMA will continue to update its membership about FCCs via the President’s Letter.

• Section fee increase – A brief discussion about the SRM membership fee increase for the 2011‑12 membership year. Details are available in the September issue of Section News. ‘‘ Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

• Primary Care Alliance (PCA) – A PowerPoint presentation on the PCA was provided, which outlined the composition and structure of the PCA Board and PCA Forum.

President-Elect election

Members will have received a voting package, including a ballot, for the CMA President-Elect election. There are six candidates, but only two are family physicians. Rural doctors might want to consider making the family physicians their first and second choices on the preferential ballot. The election began Monday, January 16 and ends at 4:30 p.m., Monday, February 27.

• Biomedical Waste Materials – The AMA updated the Guide for Management of Biomedical Waste Generated in Physicians’ Offices and its companion brochure, and has requested SRM feedback before the materials are finalized. The chart is available on the SRM web page (log in). Please provide any feedback regarding any content issues or inaccuracies to me by email (

More information about the candidates and the election process is available on the AMA website (log in).

SPRING 2012 SECTION MEETINGS ‘‘ Thursday, March 15

Section of Emergency Medicine Executive Committee Meeting Sutton Place Hotel – Emily Murphy Edmonton AB 4-9 p.m. Dinner will be provided. Section of General Practice Executive Committee meeting Delta Edmonton Centre Suites Hotel – Queen Elizabeth Suite Edmonton AB 9 a.m-3:30 p.m. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. General Practitioners Forum Delta Edmonton Centre Suites Hotel – Mackenzie/Champlain room Edmonton AB 6-8:30 p.m. By invitation only. Dinner will be provided at 5:30 p.m.

Alberta Medical Association


February 2012 Section News

Section News - February 2012  

Section News is a monthly newsletter that provides an opportunity for Alberta Medical Association member sections to report on their challen...