Physicians are critical to our healthcare system. We understand changes to compensation for Alberta’s physicians have caused concern. We share a joint focus and responsibility for patients and we appreciate the continued professionalism demonstrated by Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) physicians through this transition, and their continued commitment to caring for patients and families.
AHS is working towards ending payments to physicians that are supplemental to fee for services (FFS) billings. Clinical stipends are offside the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act.
Exceptions to this are stipends that have been identified to transition to the Physician On Call Program and those that will be granted a time-limited extension until an alternative compensation model has been offered to the physicians, or a transition pathway has been identified (e.g., service delivery model change). All impacted physicians providing services in these programs will be notified by AHS Medical Affairs.
Many of these supplemental payments pre-date AHS and were established for a number of reasons, including recruitment/retention and to address service delivery needs. There is provincial inconsistency in the way these stipends are applied and AHS has conducted a review of the stipend programs to identify how best to transition them.
As part of this work, AHS supports and follows these guiding principles on physician compensation:
We acknowledge the past two years have been an extremely challenging and exhausting time for physicians and frontline healthcare workers. As a result, this transition was postponed to minimize uncertainty for physicians and ensure physicians were consulted to identify if any further support is required.
AHS has and will continue to work diligently and collaboratively to implement solutions that recognize the value of physician’s work, the needs of our patients and the sustainability of our healthcare system.
We are committed to a fair and transparent process during this transition.
For more information, please see these frequently asked questions.