World 13.3.2018 02:24 pm

Canadian doctors demand to be paid less

File photo. For illustrative purposes.

File photo. For illustrative purposes.

An open letter from nearly 800 doctors and students has made headlines around the world.

One of the stranger reports from the past few days must be that of nearly 800 doctors and medical residents in the Canadian province of Quebec who signed a letter protesting against plans to raise their pay.

They argue that the funds would be better spent on other areas of the province’s struggling healthcare system.

Their open letter says, in part: “We, Quebec doctors, are asking that the salary increases granted to physicians be cancelled and that the resources of the system be better distributed for the good of healthcare workers.”

The letter described the recent pay raises as “shocking”, given “draconian cuts” that had left nurses, orderlies and others overworked and underpaid, as well as led to a widespread lack of services for patients.

Apparently emergency rooms are now so overcrowded in Quebec that 35% of patients wait five hours or more for care, which is the worst level of care of any country in the West.

Physicians appear to feel they would rather work in better-funded environments than simply be paid more themselves.

The increases, however, are not astronomical, with government having announced increases of 1.4% for specialists and about 1.8% for GPs.

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