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Doctors reach tentative agreement with Province
A tentative agreement has been reached between the British Columbia Medical Association (BCMA) and the B.C. government on a renewed Physician Master Agreement covering approximately 10,000 specialists and family physicians in the province.
Building on the success of the previous master agreement, the proposed four-year deal provides targeted funding that continues to advance solutions to issues that matter most to patients and their families:
- Improving patient access to family physicians;
- Enhancing care for patients with chronic conditions;
- increasing patient access to physicians in rural areas;
- Improving recruitment and retention of specialists in B.C.
The agreement respects the province’s challenging fiscal climate while ensuring that the services patients depend on are protected.
The agreement includes funding to:
- Continue improvements in access to primary care;
- Expand access to physician services in rural and remote communities;
- Enhance access to specialty medical services;
- Support shared care between specialists and general practitioners;
- Address difficulties in recruiting and retaining specific specialties.
- Respond to recruitment and retention issues for physicians on service or salary contracts;
- Reflect the increased costs of providing insured services;
- Support new procedures and advancements in care.
In addition, the ministry and the BCMA will work to identify additional ways to ensure that B.C.’s lab system is as efficient as possible and continues to provide the best services for patients in the most sustainable manner.
Specific details of the agreement will be available pending ratification by the BCMA membership, which is expected to conclude by the end of July 2012. The BCMA Board is recommending acceptance.