Monday 18 November 2019 \

 

Canadian doctors protest their own pay raises

Doctors In Canada Are Rejecting Their Own Pay Raise, Saying They're Paid Enough. Getty Images
А group of doctors and nurses in Quebec have called for a cut in their own wages to help mitigate the squeeze on public health service budgets.
 
More than 750 physicians, residents and medical students  in the French speaking region have signed an online letter opposing a recent salary hike negotiated by their medical unions. 
 
“These increases are all the more shocking because our nurses, clerks, clerks and other professionals face very difficult working conditions, while our patients live with the lack of access to required services because of the drastic cuts in recent years and the centralization of power in [Quebec’s] Ministry of Health,” reads the letter. “The only thing that seems to be immune to the cuts is our remuneration.”
 
Last October, the association representing Quebec’s 9,500 family doctors signed an eight-year deal with the province that would see doctors’ salaries rise by an average of 1.8 percent annually. The pay hike would add CDN $4,400 (£2,500) annually to a general practitioner’s (GP’s) average income of CDN $245,000 (£137,000). But it will still be 15 to 20 percent lower than what family doctors are paid in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. 
 
Raising GPs' take-home pay in Quebec will cost the provincial government CDN $840 million (£470 million): CDN $340 million (£340 million) for the increase, with the balance representing money owed to them from past agreements.
 
Still, those doctors want their salary increases cancelled and called on the Quebec government to better distribute “resources of the Quebec health system to promote the health of the population and meet the needs of patients without pushing workers to the end,” reads the MQRP letter.
 
Last month, another deal was reached between the Quebec government and the province’s 10,000 medical specialists, which would see their annual salaries increase by 1.4 percent annually. On average, Quebec specialists earn an average salary of CDN $403,537 (£225,000) – more than their counterparts in Ontario, who take home $367,154 (£205,374) on average every year, according to data compiled by the Canadian Institute of Health Information.
 
The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec, which represents specialists in the province, has not publicly commented on the salary increase.
 
However, Gaétan Barrette, Quebec’s health minister, said last month that if doctors in his province “feel they are overpaid, they can leave the money on the table. I guarantee you I can make good use of it”.
 
Under Canada’s publicly funded universal healthcare system, the country’s citizens receive free medical care.
The Telegraph
 

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