The NDP government says they’ve reached a new deal with the Alberta Medical Association to rework a plan for overall health spending in the province.
NDP Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne says the previous government let the cost of the health care system increase by six per cent per year for the last decade.
“That is simply not a sustainable amount. By working with our partners in the AMA we believe we’ve found a number of ways that we’re going to be able to slow the rate of growth to ensure that Albertans have the high quality healthcare system that they come to expect and then it’s available for a long time to come,” said Payne.
Payne wouldn’t say by how much they want that health spending growth to change, but did give an explanation as to how it might happen.
“There’s certainly a number of ways within the system, not just with doctors, but also a number of other avenues that we’re looking to find different ways that we can slow the growth in spending and ensure that those healthcare dollars are being spent in a way that ensures the long term sustainability of our system.”
AMA President Dr. Carl Nohr says they’ll start by implementing a new peer review process for practitioners.
“A peer review process is all about education, so through more data sharing and information management, we will be able to share physician’s practice habits with them on and educational basis and thereby, probably, and I think certainly actually, diminish duplication and unnecessary testing and procedures,” said Dr. Nohr.
The two sides have agreed to start talks soon on a master agreement instead of waiting for negotiations that were set for 2017. (djs)