Posted on Jul 10, 2020
KENNEY’S ATTACKS ARE DRIVING ALMOST HALF OF ALBERTA DOCTORS TO LEAVE
EDMONTON - A new survey of Alberta doctors reveals that 42 per cent are considering leaving the province or have already made plans to do so. More than a third are considering early retirement, clinic closure or resignation from their local hospital.
“I’m deeply troubled to see thousands of doctors are preparing to resign, retire, or move out of Alberta altogether, but I can’t say I’m shocked,” said David Shepherd, NDP Opposition Critic for Health. “Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro are at war with Alberta doctors: tearing up their contract, cutting their pay, and imposing hundreds of pages of new paperwork in the middle of a public health emergency. Kenney and Shandro have smeared Alberta doctors at every turn, suggesting they are lazy, greedy and dishonest. It’s despicable.”
According to the survey, commissioned by the Alberta Medical Association, fully 87 per cent of doctors are planning to resign, retire, reduce their hours, lay off staff or leave Alberta. The survey follows several open letters from Alberta medical students, who are calling a career in Alberta “a reckless gamble” under the Kenney government.
This week, Shandro introduced Bill 30, another attempt to weaken family doctors’ practices and replace them with corporate clinics.
“Bill 30 is not about patient-centred care, it’s about profit-centred care,” Shepherd said. “The loss of family practices is alarming news for young families, seniors, Albertans living with a chronic condition, and anyone who needs to see a doctor. Bill 30 puts patient care at risk.
“These losses will be especially devastating to rural communities who have invested so much time, energy and money to recruit and retain doctors. They will be almost impossible to replace under this government.”
For months, the Official Opposition, the Alberta Medical Association, and Alberta medical students have been calling on the UCP government to get back to the table, develop a new contract through binding arbitration, and repeal the parts of Bill 21 that allow the government to tear up any future contract on a whim. These calls have been ignored.
“Let’s be absolutely clear: this is deliberate. Jason Kenney is chasing doctors out of Alberta to pay for his $4.7-billion corporate handout,” Shepherd said. “The priority of the Kenney government is to line the pockets of CEOs and corporate shareholders at the expense of health care for Alberta families.”