RQRMA President’s Message and SMA Negotiation Information

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RQRMA President’s Message and SMA Negotiation Information

25-May-2017

I am contacting you all to provide you with updates arising from the recent Saskatchewan Medical Association Representative Assembly, held this past May 5th and 6th in Saskatoon. Considering the environment we are all now living in, there was considerable interest on the part of physicians, and the RA had one of its highest attendances in years.

The environment I refer to above pertains to several areas for sure.  However, the most important for physicians at the present time are the provincial budget and the amalgamation of the health authorities into one provincial authority.

The provincial budget has created challenges for Saskatchewan physicians.  Initial statements from the Ministry mentioned no “cutbacks”,  then evolved into the  3.5 % cut back, which applied to the  SMA and physicians as a whole,  in addition to several other provincial sectors.  The SMA is currently in discussions with the MoH as to where the 3.5 % will come from, but at the present time, some monies from unutilized program funds have been surrendered, and there are other monies in other program funds that may contribute to the 3.5 %.  As for actual FFS items,  and the impact on current AFPs and contracts, this is less clear to me at this time.  However, the SMA recognizes the importance of reducing the impact on office overhead and other costs incurred in the business of maintaining a practice. 

The Medical Compensation Review Committee (MCRC) has been notified in writing by the MoH that they wish to begin negotiations with the SMA on a new contract, to replace the one that expired on March 31st, 2017.   Many areas are open for discussion, not the least being the financial situation in the province and how that will impact the negotiations.  Issues currently active are modernization of the fee schedule, and as well, relativity in the fees paid to the various sections. At the RA an in camera session was held where the members broke up into three groups and considered several questions and scenarios as to the priorities and approach to negotiations. Many ideas were debated and a considerable amount of information was conveyed to the SMA leadership.  This certainly gave the MCRC significant direction and represents the wishes of the Saskatchewan doctors.  To follow the progress of the negotiations, please inquire at the email address and you will receive information on the status of negotiations. The address is: Negotiate@sma.sk.ca

As for the challenges we all face, I have attached a synopsis of what is going on in other provinces and territories.The provincial transition team now has two physicians appointed to contribute to the process,  Dr. Kevin Wasko, a family practitioner from Swift Current, and Dr. Bruce Murray, a pathologist from PA.  We will be hosting Dr. Murray at our June Quarterly Staff Meeting, being held on June 21

The provincial transition team now has two physicians appointed to contribute to the process,  Dr. Kevin Wasko, a family practitioner from Swift Current, and Dr. Bruce Murray, a pathologist from PA.  We will be hosting Dr. Murray at our June Quarterly Staff Meeting, being held on June 21st. We will be updated on the Transformation and have the opportunity to direct questions specific to the impact of the process on physicians.Note as well, we will strike a nominating committee at the Quarterly for the creation of the slate of candidates for election to RMA executive positions, to be presented to the membership in September. 

Note as well, we will strike a nominating committee at the Quarterly for the creation of the slate of candidates for election to RMA executive positions, to be presented to the membership in September. Very importantly, at the June

Very importantly, at the June quarterly, I will be honoring the physician retirees from the 2016-17 year.  A healthy attendance to honor our colleagues would be wonderful.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information or have any advice for the RMA executive.

Sincerely, Don McCarville

Don McCarville