President's Letter: AGM Resolutions and Appointments to Committees

President’s Letter: AGM Resolutions and Appointments to Committees

Dear Colleagues:

The following resolutions were debated and passed by delegates at the NLMA’s AGM last weekend. Resolutions are advisory to the NLMA Board of Directors, which reviewed and subsequently approved these resolutions at our recent board meeting.

Resolutions approved at the 2023 AGM

Be it resolved that:

  1. NLMA review its honoraria policy regarding eligibility and amount compensated to encourage more physician participation in the work of the Association and recognize more closely loss of income opportunity.
    Moved: Dr. Stephen Major
    Seconded: Dr. Colleen Kirby

    The Board of Directors approved the resolution by consensus and agreed to conduct a review of the NLMA’s Honoraria policy.
  2. NLMA increase transparency and lead time to all disciplines in the creation of compensation/ parity goals for MOA negotiations.
    Moved: Dr. Paul Johnston
    Seconded: Dr. Doug Angel

    The Board approved this resolution by consensus and agreed there will be consultation opportunities on a new national parity calculation model.
  3. NLMA advocate for maintenance of virtual care codes at equivalent compensation as in-person care codes.
    Moved: Dr. Paul Johnston
    Seconded: Dr. Krista Fudge

    The Board approved this resolution by consensus and noted this has been the Association’s position since the establishment of the interim virtual care codes and will continue to be in negotiations with the government to fulfill this resolution.
  4. Be it resolved that the NLMA pursue compensation for fee-for service physicians in the event of cancellation of scheduled resources (clinics, OR, endoscopy, etc.) for reasons other than lack of physician availability.
    Moved: Dr. Paul Johnston
    Seconded: Dr. David Harvey

    In March 2023, the NLMA provided the Minister of Health and Community Services with a proposal regarding a standardized OR Bump Fee. Earlier this year, the NLMA began measuring OR Bumps among fee-for-service surgeons and anesthesiologists to help measure operating room list cancellations. NLMA met with government officials in May to present data on surgical cancellations collected from physicians. This data will be used to support the NLMA in negotiations for compensation for lost income that occurs on short notice and for reasons outside physicians’ control. The NLMA will also revise its proposal to ensure that surgical assists are compensated for cancelled OR time to reflect direction from delegates at the AGM.
  5. NLMA advocate that government amend provincial pension legislation to accommodate the Medicus retirement plan being developed by MD Financial Management Inc. and Scotiabank.
    Moved: Dr. Paul Johnston
    Seconded: Dr. Amir Gammal

    The NLMA is actively advocating for legislative changes to accommodate the Medicus retirement plan and will ensure these efforts continue to fulfill this AGM resolution. The NLMA has written to the Minister of Digital Government and Service NL to outline the regulatory barriers in this province preventing the Medicus Pension Plan from operating in Newfoundland and Labrador and to request amendments to the Pension Benefits Act. In April, NLMA officials and Scotia MD Financial officials met with the provincial government’s Director of Pensions to advance this advocacy and recommended changes that would be necessary to the Pension Benefits Act. These discussions are ongoing.
  6. NLMA advocate for a third-party review of MCP’s processes, outcomes and administrative efficiency.
    Moved: Dr. Paul Johnston
    Seconded: Dr. David Harvey

    The Board agreed to adopt this resolution and will submit a proposal to the Minister of Health and Community Services for this review.
  7. The Family Medicine Section and the Section of FFS Consultants be provided “Standing Item” status on the Board agenda such that 15 minutes is allocated to hear from each group at each regular Board meeting.

    This resolution was deferred at the AGM, but was considered at the following Board of Directors meeting where the Board agreed by consensus to approve the proposal. NLMA will contact the two sections prior to each board meeting to invite presentations/submissions from the sections should they have issues to report. All members continue to have an opportunity to bring issues to the NLMA throughout the year.

EMR Management Committee Appointment
Urologist Dr. Gavin Duffy has been appointed to the EMR Management Committee, which was established through a MOU with the Department of Health and Community Services and the NL Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) to govern the provincial EMR program. Dr. Duffy is a member of the NLMA Health Information Committee and previously served as a part-time medical advisor at NLCHI. He was also an early adopter of Med Access and the first physician in the province to experience the transfer of patient information from Nightingale to Med Access. Dr. Duffy will bring valuable experience as eDOCSNL plans for the transition from Telus Med Access to the Telus Collaborative Health Record (CHR) in the next few years. Dr. Duffy replaces Dr. Tim Strand who has been a member of the EMR Management Committee since 2015. The NLMA wishes to thank Dr. Stand for his contributions and important work on behalf of physicians in the province over the past eight years. The NLMA has three representatives on the EMR Management Committee representing fifty per cent of the voting members, including Dr. Tony Gabriel and Dr. Roxanne Cooper.

Appointment to Family Practice Renewal Committee
Dr. Stephen Major recently concluded his term on the Family Practice Renewal Committee (FPRC) following his appointment as NLMA President-Elect at the AGM. An Expression of Interest was issued to the membership and multiple exceptional candidates came forward. This week, the NLMA Board approved St. John’s family physician Dr. Francisco Acevedo to join the NLMA FPRC representatives Dr. Lynette Powell, Co-Chair (Grand Falls-Windsor) and Dr. Nicola Penney (Corner Brook). Dr. Acevedo’s appointment increases regional representation on the committee. With 20 years of experience in FSS practice and four years of service on the FPN Endeavor executive board, Dr. Acevedo has a firm understanding of the issues affecting family physicians. The NLMA wishes to thank Dr. Stephen Major for his service on the FPRC and to all the excellent candidates who put their names forward.

The NLMA welcomes your feedback on these or any other issues. You can write to me at [email protected].

Gerard Farrell