Nasty battle between Alberta, province's doctors heats up
Alberta Premier Alison Redford speaks at a joint news conference with New Brunswick Premier David Alward after the two met in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:53AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:25PM EST
EDMONTON -- The nasty rhetoric in ongoing contract talks between the Alberta government and the province's doctors continues, with the latest salvo coming from the president of the Alberta Medical Association.
Dr. Michael Giuffre published an open letter to Premier Alison Redford on Tuesday, in which he accused her of making it tougher to recruit doctors as well as making "inaccurate and misleading" comments.
Last week Redford said Alberta doctors are already the highest paid in Canada and that a boost in doctors' pay may force her government to bring back health premiums.
On Tuesday, Giuffre disputed Redford's assertion that compensation for Alberta physicians is as much as 29 per cent higher than the national average, saying the accurate figure is 14 per cent.
He said part of the reason for that is because overhead costs are so high in Alberta.
As for reintroducing health premiums, Giuffre said that would provide the government with an estimated $1 billion in revenue while a one per cent increase in fees paid to doctors would cost the government just $30 million.