NDP call for immediate restoration of doctors’ contract

by Morinville News Staff

The NDP is accusing Health Minister Tyler Shandro of weakening Alberta’s pandemic response by “ramming through” changes to physician compensation.

David Shepherd, the NDP Official Opposition Health Critic, is calling for an immediate halt to what it calls the UCP healthcare chaos. He is joined in that opinion by Dr. Darren Markland of the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

“The staff are stressed, they’re working long hours in difficult conditions trying to keep people safe and healthy,” said Dr. Markland. “We are spending all our energy preparing for the coronavirus pandemic, and we can’t fight a war on two fronts.”

UCP changes to doctor compensation are set to come into effect Apr. 1, and Shepherd says the changes will have a negative impact.

“The UCP’s changes to doctor compensation mean that doctors across the province will see dramatic changes in their pay starting in just a couple of weeks and the uncertainty is creating additional and unnecessary pressure in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms everywhere,” Shepherd said. “As cases of coronavirus grow each day, the timing could not be worse.”

The NDP is calling for an immediate restoration of the contract with Alberta doctors.

“It is staggering that this UCP government thinks this is the right time to argue about pay,” Shepherd said. “This is the time for our healthcare system to function at a level we’ve never asked for before. Minister Shandro must immediately end his attack on doctors and get out of the way of frontline healthcare professionals.”

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