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Rural doctor addresses racism and discrimination in letter to Premier

July 22, 2020

Bill 30 has been getting a lot of attention lately regarding health care in rural Alberta. Many doctors are against it and have threatened to leave the province. There is a doctor in Drumheller, however, who is in favour of the bill because it addresses racism and discrimination.

Dr. Rithesh Ram sent an open letter to Premier Jason Kenney this week to discuss the bills merits as it relates specifically to racism, discrimination, and physician compensation.

In his letter, Dr. Ram says, "unfortunately, there are doctors who engage in acts of discrimination, harassment, racism, sexual harassment and bullying, purposefully and maliciously to advance their agendas." He goes on to say that he and his physician wife and young family have experienced this first hand from other doctors in his area. He says quote “the doctors engaging in this behaviour seem to continue deliberately because of our “closed” profession."

Ram says he’s very pleased that Bill 30 looks to balance the public interests and transparency of how doctors police themselves by increasing the number of public members appointed to their complaint review committees.  

He points out in his letter that the impact of the presence of public members will be measurable in the future. And that it may well help the Alberta Medical Association move assertively in dealing with unacceptable behaviour.

He says as a rural generalist physician he supports the government's direction for change, but feels more is needed, and that’s what he hopes to discuss with the Premier.

Copy and paste the following link to see Dr. Ram's entire open letter to the Premier addressing racism, discrimination and physician compensation: