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Alberta giving up power to tear up, replace doctor pay agreements

Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping speaks to reporters in Edmonton on December 5, 2022 (Brandon Lynch/CTV News Edmonton.) Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping speaks to reporters in Edmonton on December 5, 2022 (Brandon Lynch/CTV News Edmonton.)
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A lawsuit filed by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) is being dropped after the province agreed to stop terminating its compensation deals.

The changes will come if and when Bill 4, the Alberta Health Care Insurance Amendment Act, passes in the legislature.

The United Conservative Party government gave itself the ability to change doctor contracts back in 2019.

In February 2020, the UCP terminated a master agreement with the AMA, prompting an outcry and a lawsuit.

Health Minister Jason Copping was asked Monday why the UCP didn't make the change sooner.

"I came into the role in September of last year and my focus and direction I had from the then-premier (Jason Kenney) was a focus on reaching an agreement with the AMA, because there's so many shared interests in the context of managing through the pandemic. So, part of this was part of our discussions," Copping said.

“We appreciate this swift action…This process will encourage renewed collaboration to serve Albertans and our health-care system,” said Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, president of the AMA.

The government and the AMA announced a new four-year contract in September.

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