British Columbia's doctors have voted 92 per cent in favour of accepting a new four-year agreement with the provincial government.
“We're pleased that a majority of our members recognize that this is a good agreement in these challenging economic times," said Dr Shelley Ross, president of the BC Medical Association in a news release. “The ratified agreement is good for doctors and patients. It protects the important provisions in the master agreement and commits to funding essential programs until 2014. It maintains programs that allow physicians to best care for chronically ill patients, as well as providing funding to recruit and retain specialists in needed areas of the province."
A total of 3,077 BCMA members cast their ballots. The agreement provides targeted funding that continues to advance solutions to issues that matter most to patients and their families:
• Improving patient access to family physicians
• Enhancing care for patients with chronic conditions
• Increasing patient access to physicians in rural areas and
• Improving recruitment and retention of specialists
The ratified agreement provides a modest increase for physicians to cover overhead costs.
While the agreement is for four years, two elements — compensation and program funding — are in place for two years. Negotiations in those areas will take place for the final two years of the contract.