EDMONTON, AB (June 22, 2012): Today’s family physician announcement is a welcome acknowledgement of Alberta’s doctor shortage, but attracting and retaining family physicians in the chaotic and uncertain health care system remains a deep concern, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
This morning, the government announced 26 family medicine residents and 10 more family medicine teaching physicians at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine. “We obviously need more family doctors, but increasing residency is only one part of the solution,” Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle said. “We need to make sure that these physicians, once they are in Alberta, want to stay. That means a health system that is stable, secure and free of political interference.” Towle said the ongoing bullying and intimidation of physicians combined with the uncertainty around the government’s Family Care Clinics initiative aren’t helping Alberta solve its doctor shortage problem. “We’ve known about how this government treats health care professionals for some time, and now we’ve got the government talking about a complete restructuring of primary care with no certainty for physicians and no plan for how it will work,” Towle said.