A communications expert says the Redford government and provincial doctors are playing a dangerous game … trying to win public support in their ongoing contract dispute.

Dr. Allan Bonner tells 660News Albertans’ do have a vested interest but expect cooler heads to prevail.

“In classic bargaining, a zero-sum game is not very productive,” he says. “I want more money, there is no more money, that discussion doesn’t go very far.”

Bonner says while most people would think the doctors are winning, because people don’t trust politicians, other factors are also in play.

“There’s also fear, what do you fear more…..” he explains. “A deficit in the government that you really don’t understand or a lack of health care, so I think both sides can play that card as well.”

Bonner says the side that presents the most viable option that can save tax payers money, while giving doctors a pay raise will ultimately win in the end.

Premier Redford has threatened to bring back health care premiums if the province is forced to give the doctors more cash.

The Alberta Medical Association says without a pay raise, it will be harder to recruit physicians and some doctors could walk away from their practices.