Should I worry about my doctor leaving?
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
First, I should put the question on many of my patients' minds to rest:
"Doctor Burt, are you leaving?"
The short answer is, probably not.
The long answer is: one can only function in a hostile and deteriorating environment for so long. Check out this recent article regarding a survey sent out to Alberta Physicians:
The goal is not to leave, the goal is to keep healthcare in Alberta sustainable. Failing that, we may as well suffer in the sunshine. I now understand the saying "people don't quit jobs, people quit bosses". It seems that the other provinces understand this too.
There's no doubt finances play a role here. Our clinic operated at a loss for a period this year to keep our patients cared for and our staff employed, and I'd say it was worth it. COVID doubtlessly played a role but make no mistake, the government made targeted cuts to family medicine. What this means for my patients is that they will have single-issue ten-minute visits without the exceptions we have enjoyed thus far. Not ideal medicine, but financial reality. Complaints can be directed to Jason Kenney (seriously, since I won't have time to discuss them). Tyler Shandro and Jason Copping are also reasonable to contact.
This misses the point however. Alberta physicians have no contract to guarantee we will be compensated for service provided. The government refuses to negotiate (several reasonable offers were made, don't believe their blatant lies). The UCP take every opportunity to slander us in the media, while we have to maintain the high road due to our pending lawsuit against them. They are looking to privatize medicine, which is too big a travesty to discuss here. Unfortunately for me, my compass leans more "fight" than "flight", thus I will combat their parade of corrupt, malicious incompetence until it is insurmountable.
Hopefully my problems won't have to become my patients' problems in due course.
How do I help?
Remember to send your concerns to; Premier Jason Kenney
Health Minister Tyler Shandro
MLA Jason Copping