In the past 20 months, the provincial government has unilaterally deviated from the previously negotiated APP contract templates. In some cases, the government asked physicians to sign contracts that were not consistent with the approved templates. In other cases, the government asked physicians to sign only a deliverables document, without providing an accompanying contract.
Both the unapproved contracts and the deliverables-only approach expose physicians to unnecessary risk. Physicians could see some of their Master Agreement negotiated benefits refused – such as programs supporting professional liability insurance or continuing medical education, or the 1.5% annual medical services unit rate increase for 2018-19.
It is also unclear what recourse is available to physicians who have signed an unapproved contract or a deliverables agreement without an accompanying contract, in the event they do not agree with the government or the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) about the contract. Where there is no contract at all, the government and the NSHA are also exposed to unnecessary risk.
To protect yourself, contact your Physician Advisor before signing any contracts or deliverables agreements with the NSHA or the Department of Health and Wellness. Your advisor will work with you to review the documents, mitigate risk, and ensure there is no disruption in patient care or physician payments.