You may have already seen this letter. It was shared on a community facebook page last weekend and has since been shared dozens of times, collecting hundreds of reactions. Certainly some disagree with the math presented by the business owner. Others argue the numbers do not go far enough to consider costs of providing health care, and other services.
Regardless, this has the community talking and it underlines the frustration of struggling home owners, and business owners who feel politicians are not moving quick enough to deal with issues related to crime and public safety. The letter has been sent to Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer. We’ve asked the author of the letter to keep us informed on any reaction.
Printed with the permission of the author.
Like many people in Alberta and Canada I have been a victim of crime, in 2018 I had over $140,000.00 stolen and 2 vehicles damaged (1 destroyed) in 4 separate thefts (of these events insurance would only cover $40,000.00) this had created an extreme hardship on my mental and physical well being as well as the well being of my family. Forcing us to make less than $18,000.00 last year. But not qualifying for supplemented income as I am self employed, however the criminals that are caught in a stolen vehicle with drugs and firearms are free to collect government aid and continue stealing from us!
Since the last major theft on Remembrance Day 2018, I had security cameras installed and I actively monitor these cameras every night, this has led to me contacting the police and personally intervening in the attempted theft of my neighbour’s and my property over 200 times. This is absolutely unacceptable, I have been told by the R.C.M.P to move, buy a different vehicle, and there’s nothing they can do even while handing over hard evidence of parole papers and a criminal’s photograph of him in my vehicle!
These criminals are armed with knives (from lock back to kitchen), machetes, pipe wrenches, firearms, baseball bat’s, needles, and anything else they can find to make a weapon.
Our Laws need to change now!
We could cut major crimes down within 3 months implementing a strict minimum sentence for all repeat offenders, 5 yrs minimum for any drug conviction with intent to sell or crime over $5k, 10 yrs for any assault during the commission of a crime or evading police, and 20 yrs for any major crime committed while in possession of a firearm or weapon.
The first thing our government needs to understand is it only costs $150/day for an inmate, these criminals on average are stealing $1000 a day.
Also the majority of these criminals are on supplemented income and free benefits costing tax payers another $30,000.00/yr (in other words the government is paying these criminals to steal from us).
So if we say 100 criminals are stealing $356,000/yr each for a total of $35,600,000/yr and are drawing an additional $3,000,000.00 in tax funded services.
The cost of these 100 criminals to citizens is $38,600,000.00/yr
If we were to incarcerate these same criminals our cost would be $5,340,000.00/yr this would leave us ample room to implement rehabilitation services in prison, as well create many more jobs in the prison, construction, and health sectors, also freeing up our health services in each municipality to aid those in need instead of hundreds of junkies and criminals!
(author does not wish to be identified)
(Stats for incarceration figures from: https://edmontonjournal.com/…/70-per-cent-of-prisoners-in-a…)
(Average theft costs based on Red Deer crime watch stats compiled over 1 year.)
Province freezes funds for doctors and launches process to work out a new funding formula
New physician funding framework announce
Alberta will maintain physician funding at $5.4 billion, the highest level ever, and implement its final offer to the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) to avoid $2 billion in cost overruns.
Existing terms will remain in place until March 31, 2020. A new funding framework will then be introduced, in a multi-year process that will require consultation with the AMA at all stages. The new framework will make changes proposed during negotiations to prevent cost overruns, align benefit programs and administrative fees with those of comparable provinces, and improve services for patients.
The eleven consultation proposals will also be implemented on March 31. This includes phasing in changes to complex modifiers, reducing the rate physicians can charge for this billing code to $9 from $18, for a period of one year before the code is removed in 2021-22. In summer 2020, at the direction of the Minister of Health, the Government of Alberta will also introduce a new alternative relationship plan (ARP) with built-in transition benefits to encourage physicians to move from fee-for-service to a three-year contract.
“Our province is facing cost overruns of $2 billion in the next three years due solely to physician compensation. If left unaddressed, these costs would impede efforts to reduce surgical wait times, improve mental health and addiction services, and expand the number of continuing care beds. Despite repeated efforts, the AMA failed to put forward alternatives that would hold the line on physician compensation. The new framework announced today will prevent cost overruns, allow our province to improve services for patients, and still ensure that Alberta’s doctors are amongst the highest paid physicians in all of Canada.”
- The new funding framework will maintain government’s current level of spending on physicians at $5.4 billion.
- The new funding framework avoids anticipated cost overruns of $2 billion over the next three years.
- Alberta has been spending more on physician salaries than other provinces, yet most of its health outcomes are below national averages.
- A doctor in Alberta earns approximately $90,000 more than a doctor in Ontario and physicians’ fees have almost tripled since 2002.
Elements of the new funding framework
- Changes to Alberta’s complex modifier billing system. The rate physicians are able to charge for complex modifiers will be reduced to $9 from $18 for a period of one year before this billing code is removed in 2021-22. Once the new framework is fully phased in, physicians will be able to bill an additional fee after spending 25 minutes with a complex patient case. Alberta remains the only province in Canada that allows for a top-up payment for complex visits.
- Removal of the comprehensive annual care plan from the list of insured services. Currently, physicians can also bill for a similar consultation called a comprehensive annual visit. No other province in Canada compensates physicians twice for annual care consultation.
- Implementation of a new daily cap, modelled after a cap in place in British Columbia, of 65 patients per day. Large patient loads can contribute to physician burnout and may compromise patient safety and quality of care.
- Removing physician overhead subsidies from all hospital-based services. Physicians who work in AHS facilities should not be billing for overhead costs that their community physician colleagues face, such as leases, hiring staff and purchasing equipment.
- Ending of clinical payments, or stipends, by AHS to physicians. This change ends duplication of payments to contracted physicians.
- In September 2019, government provided notice to the AMA that it intended to begin negotiations on the AMA Agreement. The notification provided time for the AMA to prepare its proposals.
- In November 2019, negotiations began with the AMA to reach a new agreement; government began consultations on 11 proposed changes to the schedule of medical benefits (SOMB, or “insured services”).
- In January 2020, negotiations and consultations proceeded with no agreement reached. Mediation, on both the negotiation and consultation proposals, began January 31 and continued into February.
- The parties were not able to reach an agreement during mediation.
- Government will implement its final offer from the negotiating table, including the 11 consultation proposals, on March 31.
Here’s your chance to help improve Alberta’s auto insurance system
From the Province of Alberta
Auto insurance reform seeks public input
Albertans can help identify improvements to Alberta’s automobile insurance system through an online survey available until March 6.
A government review launched in fall 2019, seeks to address pressing issues such as escalating costs and to develop solutions that will ensure affordable, accessible and sustainable auto insurance options for the long term. A three-member advisory committee is leading the review.
As part of the review, the committee is conducting a survey, and seeking input from Albertans, service providers and other stakeholders through online or written submissions.
“As we review Alberta’s automobile insurance system, we are asking Albertans, service providers and other relevant stakeholders to be part of the potential solution. A thorough understanding of consumer and industry needs will help ensure our recommendations to the government are realistic and reflective of the marketplace as a whole.”
Advisory committee mandate
The committee is tasked with exploring options to reform Alberta’s automobile insurance system and making recommendations to government. The committee’s work is guided by the following principles:
- Fair, accessible and affordable automobile insurance for Albertans.
- Timely and appropriate outcomes when claims are made.
- A private-sector delivery model for automobile insurance.
- A viable and sustainable automobile insurance system.
- The overall engagement process, including the public survey, was developed by the advisory committee.
- The survey will be open until March 6 at alberta.ca.
- The committee will deliver its recommendations to government in June 2020.
- Industry data shows Albertans pay the third-highest rates for auto insurance in Canada, behind B.C. and Ontario.
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