A number of doctors in southern Alberta have written a letter to the Alberta government, joining together with the protest against budget cuts.
The letter, obtained by CTV News, was written by a group of southern Alberta emergency physicians from Lethbridge and Medicine Hat who are worried about recent changes they say will result in their departments being "overwhelmed."
"Any decision that degrades access to community based primary care medicine will inevitably result in increasing, unsustainable health care expenditures that will rapidly reverse any budget savings anticipated by these measures," the letter reads.
It goes on to say the emergency department is often where issues with treatment first appear that results in "a cost in patient lives."
While the authors of the letter do indicate the province has promised to expand community long-term care in Alberta, they are concerned that officials do not understand how much of a role emergency medicine plays in the system.
"We recognize that the fiscal reality of Alberta means savings must be found in all areas of the budget. Physicians have been willing partners, voting to accept decreases in fees in our last round of negotiations, and had again proposed global cuts to their own fees in the recent negotiations terminated by your government.
"The Alberta Medical Association has repeatedly expressed its willingness to return to the negotiating table to find sustainable decreases in health spending that will not have draconian and devastating effects on the foundation of Albertan's medical care.
"If the AMA was 'not willing to consider' your proposals this is why; they will immediately harm patients, and they will not save money."
CTV News has reached out to the provincial government for comment on the letter.