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Dr. Patrick J. (P.J.

) White

December 2, 2010

Dear Member: Dr. Raj Sherman Since my President’s Letter last Friday, nearly five dozen Alberta Medical Association (AMA) members have contacted me (mostly by email) regarding my actions involving MLA Dr. Raj Sherman (Edmonton-Meadowlark). Several expressed an understanding of the situation and that I in no way wished to cause Dr. Sherman any harm. Even here, however, there were several suggestions as to how I could have handled matters differently. I must also acknowledge the emails from members very angry with respect to how this has affected Dr. Sherman and the AMA. I will be replying to all emails. All members’ responses will be on the agenda of the December 9-10 meeting of the Board of Directors. The board will discuss and explore processes or policies to guide the AMA in the future. I also wish to inform members that yesterday I telephoned Dr. Sherman, and we talked for close to 15 minutes. I was unequivocal in expressing my deep regret for the way events had transpired and for playing a part in a situation that resulted in negative consequences for him. Furthermore, I was emphatic in supporting Dr. Sherman’s advocacy for a health care system that puts Patients First®. The AMA has done so and will continue to do so. This was also a major theme in all the feedback I received from members. Alberta Health Act The Alberta Health Act – which deals mainly with principles, although it does call for a health care ombudsman and the development of a patient’s charter – has been passed, but will not become law until proclaimed by an order-in-council as a result of a decision of the Alberta Government. …2

The President’s Letter December 2, 2010 Page 2

The AMA was generally supportive of the legislation, but had concerns – as did Dr. Sherman – of its provisions that enable the government to use regulations as a means for changing the health care system. The AMA also intends to be involved in the development of a patient’s charter, which is an element of the Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA’s) strategy for health care transformation. On December 14, CMA President, Dr. Jeff Turnbull, and CMA Secretary General and CEO, Paul-Émile Cloutier, will be here to explore how the CMA and the AMA agendas can be aligned. Health care plans Two days ago Health and Wellness Minister Gene Zwozdesky, accompanied by Dr. Chris Eagle, acting CEO of Alberta Health Services (AHS), unveiled the government’s – not AHS’ – Becoming the Best: Alberta’s 5-Year Health Action Plan. Dr. Eagle’s comments to engage physicians and other front-line staff are most encouraging. Read Becoming the Best: Alberta’s 5-Year Health Action Plan at However, the other political parties have also been developing their plans for health care in Alberta. Their policies can be viewed at: Liberals: New Democrats: Wildrose Alliance: Yours truly, Patrick J. (P.J.) White, MB, BCh, MRCPsych President