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More doctors practicing in Alberta than leaving: Health Minister

Last Updated Oct 7, 2020 at 10:57 am MDT

Doctor talking to patient (CREDIT: iStock - wutwhanfoto)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Despite claims that doctors are leaving Alberta at a large rate, the UCP government released figures showing more doctors calling the province home.

The government said for the first time in Alberta’s history, more than 11,000 doctors registered to practice in Alberta so far this year, representing a gain of 246 doctors from 2019.

“This report shows that doctors continue to choose to live and practice in Alberta in impressive numbers and for good reason,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“Alberta pays more than any other province, has lower taxes, and now has the most attractive compensation package available for rural and remote doctors in Canada.”

According to the data, only 47 doctors stopped practicing from July to September of this year.

Of those numbers, 13 left Alberta, four gave up their licence, five were suspended or had their licence removed, three passed away and 22 retired.

A survey conducted by the Alberta Medical Association this past summer showed nearly 90 per cent of doctors are not happy with the United Conservative government with 49 per cent saying they’re considering leaving the province.

WATCH: Alberta doctors eyeing B.C. and Ontario

 

“Physicians have reached a breaking point,” said AMA President Dr. Christine Molnar. “I’m deeply troubled by where this is going and what it’s going to mean for medical practices and patients in the coming months.”

The AMA and Health Minister Tyler Shandro have been involved in a dispute over compensation since Shandro tore up a master agreement with the AMA in February and imposed a raft of billing changes that prompted doctors in numerous rural municipalities to announce a withdrawal of hospital services.

The AMA has since voted 98 per cent in favour of non-confidence in the Health Minister.

With files from CityNews