President's Letter: NLMA Members Ratify New Agreement

President’s Letter: NLMA Members Ratify New Agreement

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to report that members have voted in favour of ratifying the new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

The online ratification vote concluded at 5:00 p.m. this afternoon with 72.5% voting to accept the tentative agreement with the provincial government.

A total of 921 members took part in the vote representing 65.4% of eligible members. The NLMA will provide additional details on voting data in the coming days. 

The Board met this evening to formally accept the voting results. We will now move forward with finalizing the Atlantic Parity calculations in consultation with fee-for-service groups before signing the new MOA.

Once the MOA is signed, we will immediately turn our attention to working with government to start compensation increases, distribute retroactive payments to December 30, 2021, and engage with FFS groups to start the micro-allocations process.

As we move forward with implementing the agreement, we will work with government to design the remoteness bonus program; provide oversight for the locum recruitment program; and begin negotiations for the new blended capitation payment model within the prescribed timeline.

I want to thank everyone who participated in this democratic process and for sharing your views with us during our member consultation sessions leading up to the vote. Your engagement was meaningful and helped us identify member issues that we intend to address.

We also realize that this agreement was unable to address all members’ concerns. Many members expressed their frustrations with elements of the package and with ongoing systemic challenges they face daily in their practices. We have heard these concerns and we have placed them at the top of our priority list. This includes establishing new processes for resolving issues with MCP and punitive assessment practices. The NLMA also commits to reviewing and updating the Atlantic Parity formula to improve the way we measure competitiveness.

We have made significant progress with this new agreement that I believe will help us with recruitment and make the province a more attractive place for our medical graduates to work.

We will have an opportunity to build on these gains when we start the next round of negotiations. These negotiations will be triggered in the spring of 2023. We will use the next 14 months to gather member input to ensure we capture your goals for the next round.

Thank you all for your support, your engagement and your dedication to your patients and the people of the province.

Susan MacDonald MD, CCFP PC FCFP