The SGP Board endorses the tentative 2019 PMA.
The SGP Board has now had the opportunity to review the tentative Physician Master Agreement (PMA). We have voted unanimously to support it.
We believe that this agreement addresses the priorities that SGP identified as important for family doctors in our submission to the Negotiations team at Doctors of BC. These include:
- Funding to recognize increasing business costs for physicians
- Funding for family doctors who provide longitudinal, community-based family practice
- Funding to support Pathways
- Developing a mechanism to explore alternate compensation models
- Improving benefits programs
- Recognizing after-hours work
There are two key features that are of particular importance to family doctors.
1) Movement of GPSC funding into the Available Amount
– Each PMA, we need to negotiate $15-20 million dollars more for GPSC fees in order to reflect increased population needs. By moving GPSC fees into the Available Amount, increased utilization will be funded by government as with other fees.
– Over time, the movement of GPSC fees to the Available Amount will result in improvements for family doctors. Any general increases to fees will apply to them, meaning that these fees will increase year-to-year. It also means that targeted increases to GPSC can be used for new incentives and innovations.
2) Consultation framework for new compensation models
– The PMA creates a mechanism for consultation between government and Doctors of BC on the development of new compensation models/contracts. Importantly, the Ministry must engage in the process if it intends to develop a compensation model for widespread implementation.
– In addition, no fee-for-service physician will be required to change their form of compensation to any alternative payment models. The current PMA does not provide this protection.
– These are important steps forward in the discussions regarding new compensation models for family doctors.
For information on the other key features of the PMA and how they will impact family doctors, please review the FAQs on our website.
You likely have some questions about the content of the PMA as well as the process going forward. In order to help with your decision-making, we have done the following:
- Set up a Frequently Asked Questions page to answer your questions about the PMA (SGP member benefit).
- Scheduled a SGP-hosted PMA information event with the Doctors of BC Negotiations team to be held on April 1 in Vancouver. Register here.
- Scheduled a PMA information event in association with the SGP-BCCFP conference on April 5 in Victoria.
- Scheduled two SGP-hosted evening webinars with the Doctors of BC Negotiations team on March 27 and April 8 (Stay tuned for details.)
You will receive a comprehensive ratification package from Doctors of BC tomorrow. In the meantime, a summary of the main components of the settlement can be found here.
The PMA is not going to solve the crisis in family medicine that we are experiencing in this province. The issues are more complicated than a single agreement can sort out. The key features of this PMA address several urgent issues for family doctors and lay the foundation for us to work with government towards significant system change.