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Rural physicians with under 500 patients ineligible for Transitional Funding Support from Alberta: AMA

Following the distribution of Transitional Funding Support Payments to family and rural physicians from AHS, many Alberta Medical Association members have expressed “extreme” concern regarding their eligibility to receive funding.

According to AMA President Dr. Paul Parks, payments are not available to family or rural generalist practices that support under 500 patients.

The province recently announced that 3,000 family doctors around Alberta will be eligible to receive funding between $24,000 and $40,000 based on the number of patients their practices serve.

As a result, numerous rural family practices will continue to struggle, and Dr. Parks says the AMA will continue to advocate for smaller practices to receive funding from the provincial government.

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“Despite our best efforts, we could not persuade the government to lower the threshold for eligibility, this was their decision,” he says. “Our advocacy continues and it has never been more important to communicate that the urgency is still real.”

Parks says the AMA remains hopeful that TFP payments will “buy some time” for some physicians; however, he says it is “urgent” for the province to consider following up with long-term, sustainable payment options for care through the Physician Comprehensive Care Model.

“We have to live with the structure of the TFP and it will have a variable impact as a one-time payment,” he says. “The long-term PCCM is a very different matter, and it will be critically important that we get things right.”

The AMA is asking family or rural physicians who were excluded from the TFP to reach out and share how practices and patients may be impacted through email, to receive input from the AMA.

Written by: Ethan Montague – Vista Radio

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