Monday, 20 May, 2019

Canadian doctors spurn a raise, saying others should get it

Pat Wellenbach | AP A Canadian flag flaps in the breeze along a street at Old Orchard Beach in this 2007 file Pat Wellenbach | AP A Canadian flag flaps in the breeze along a street at Old Orchard Beach in this 2007 file
Patty Aguilar | 09 March, 2018, 16:52

The Washington Post reported that 700 physicians had signed a petition online to make sure their raises were canceled.

The medics' letter states: "We Quebec doctors believe in a strong public system, and we are opposed to the recent increases in wages agreed by our medical federations, which is shocking because our nurses, clerks and other health employees have very hard working conditions, and our patients have limited access to medical services after the drastic cuts in the budget in recent years and the concentration of power in the Ministry of Health". The institute clarified that this figure indicates gross pay and doesn't account for each doctor's overhead, it said in a statement to CNBC.

"These increases are all the more shocking because our nurses, clerks and other professionals face very hard 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 the Ministry of Health".

The group that published the February 25 petition, Médecins Québécois Pour le Régime, also authored a February 17 letter opposing $500 million in pay increases for specialist doctors, calling the increase raises "indecent". However, the doctors in Canada's public health system are not angling for more money.

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Parliament gears up for Day 5; both Houses adjourned till after lunch
In the morning, the House also paid tributes to former Rajya Sabha member Jinendra Kumar Jain, who passed away earlier this month. The Speaker, however, expressed the hope the deadlock would be resolved in a day or two and the house would function normally.

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette responded to the doctors' wishes to give up the pay raises but it's still not seen whether the petition is popular among all doctors. "The only thing that seems to be immune to the cuts is our remuneration". Instead they're complaining that they should be paid less. "I guarantee you I can make good use of it". The nurses union requested that the government improve the working conditions of nurses and to address the shortage in their profession.

Quebec has been having problems with another one of its healthcare group of workers nurses. Ricard describes herself after a night where she worked covering over 70 patients by herself. The province is now experiencing a shortage of nurses. They have also staged sit-ins to protest the treatments of nurses by the health ministry in Quebec.

Quebec is in the throes of a nursing crisis, with some nurses reporting themselves to their professional association because they say overwork means they can no longer maintain a proper standard of care.

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