Alberta Medical Association

Alberta Medical Association

September 29, 2007 12:00 ET

Alberta Medical Association: Physicians Must Speak Out and Put Patients First ®:

Outgoing AMA President comments on physicians' responsibility and ethic

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2007) - "Doctors must always put Patients First®," said outgoing Alberta Medical Association (AMA) President Dr. G.N. (Gerry) Kiefer in his valedictory address today.

"At times," he continued, "this will put us into conflict with government, with the regional health authorities and with other health care groups. We must, however, never shirk our ethic and our responsibility to speak out, whether as individual physicians or as a provincial organization."

His comments related to looking at the future for the AMA. In addition to emphasizing the AMA's role as advocate for a well-funded public health care system with timely access and quality care, Dr. Kiefer identified other issues that face the medical profession, including the ongoing shortage of physicians and the difficulty physicians experience in attending to their own work-life balance.

In terms of his year as president, Dr. Kiefer pointed to achieving the 2006-08 fiscal trilateral agreement between the AMA, Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta's regional health authorities as the most significant accomplishment.

He also highlighted as a milestone the Clinical Stabilization Initiative (CSI) contained in the agreement. "The CSI is a singularly important achievement in itself," Dr. Kiefer said. "It offers long-term value for Alberta's health care system through an innovative approach to addressing some of the overhead costs Alberta physicians face in the booming economy. And, it acknowledges the remarkable contributions of our colleagues who practise in rural, remote and northern communities."

Dr. Kiefer's address was delivered at the AMA's 102nd annual general meeting (AGM) at the Hyatt Regency, Calgary, during the fall meeting of the association's Representative Forum. Following the AGM, St. Albert family physician Dr. Darryl D. LaBuick becomes president of the AMA for the 2007-08 year.

The Representative Forum is AMA's governing body, meeting at least twice a year to establish policy and set direction. It includes over 100 physician representatives from health regions, specialty sections, medical students' and residents' associations, AMA past presidents, deans of medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and others.

Patients First® is a registered trademark of the Alberta Medical Association.

Contact Information

  • Alberta Medical Association
    Shannon E. Rupnarain, MBA, ABC
    Director (Public Affairs)
    Cell: (780) 907-9003