Posted on Jul 2, 2021


EDMONTON - UCP Health Minister Tyler Shandro quietly announced today he is delaying his plans to dictate where Alberta doctors can practice medicine.


“Tyler Shandro should scrap his unconstitutional attack on Alberta doctors,” said David Shepherd, NDP Critic for Health. “A delay is a good first step, but he should abandon this illegal attempt to dictate where doctors can care for patients, and save Alberta taxpayers the cost of him losing this fight in court.”


In the fall of 2019, the UCP passed Bill 21, which gave Shandro the authority to tear up the province’s agreement with doctors. He did this in early 2020, sparking a disastrous 15-month conflict that continues to this day. 


The bill also gave Shandro the power to impose restrictions on new doctors’ practitioner ID numbers, potentially limiting the number of new doctors allowed to practice in Alberta each year, and where they could practice. Similar attempts have been struck down in the courts or abandoned by governments in other provinces like BC, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


Today, Shandro announced the planned implementation will not start on the scheduled date of April 1 of 2022.


“Shandro’s war on doctors continues to be incredibly harmful to Alberta families and communities,” Shepherd said. “He slashed $400 million from doctors’ pay and imposed ridiculous amounts of new paperwork in the midst of a deadly pandemic, when doctors were literally risking their lives to help people.”


Over the past weeks, there have been cancelled surgeries, bed closures, and emergency room closures in the hospitals in Edson, Boyle, St. Paul, Elk Point, Westlock, Rocky Mountain House, Fairview, and Consort.   


“Today, rural communities are reeling from doctor shortages due to Shandro’s mismanagement,” Shepherd said. “Jason Kenney’s continued defence of this failed minister shows how little he cares about healthcare in rural Alberta.”