Medical On-Call Availability Program

The Medical On-Call/Availability Program compensates physicians who are part of a call rotation (or physician group) for providing new or unassigned patients requiring emergency care with continuous coverage that meets the standards of care as a minimum requirement of response to emergency on call.

Purpose

The purpose of the Medical On-Call Availability Program is to:

  • Meet the medical needs of new or unassigned patients requiring emergency care by providing continuous coverage, as determined by the health authority, at acute care hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, and specified emergency treatment rooms;
  • Meet standards of care as a minimum requirement of response to emergency on-call;
  • Ensure that physicians providing coverage as part of an established call rotation (or physician group) are compensated for being available to provide this service;
  • Ensure on-call coverage under this program translates into a sustainable workload for participating physicians; and
  • Address gaps in continuous, sustainable on-call coverage with innovative, workable solutions that are consistent with program requirements.

Principles

  1. Provide on-call / availability coverage that is responsive and sustainable.
  2. Provide a program that is consistent with the provincial policy framework.
  3. Establish one provincial program, which is delivered consistently as part of a regionally required call schedule.
  4. Establish a program that pays for services required and is provided through contractual arrangements between the health authorities and physicians.
  5. Establish a program that is transparent and accountable.