Opinion: Alberta’s Bill 30 is a gateway to privatization and cronyism

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On July 6, the Alberta government introduced Bill 30, which opens up the health care system to increased privatization and deepens the rift between doctors and the province.

Other amendments risk eliminating expertise and independence from key health-care institutions, particularly given the government’s propensity for cronyism and control.

The government and the Alberta Medical Association, which is responsible for negotiating physician compensation, have been embroiled in a dispute since the fall of 2019, when the government passed legislation allowing the unilateral termination of its compensation agreement with doctors. With COVID-19 looming, the government imposed controversial changes to physician billing, which alienated the medical profession, prompted the resignation of numerous rural doctors, and led some graduating medical students to question whether to stay in Alberta.