Doctors offer to take bitter pill of wage cut
Doctors in Canada have called for a cut in their own wages in a bid to ease the squeeze on public health service budgets.
More than 750 physicians, residents and medical students in Quebec have signed an online letter opposing a recent salary hike negotiated by their unions.
"These increases are all the more shocking because our nurses, 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," reads the letter.
In October, the association representing Quebec's 9,500 family doctors signed an eight-year deal that would see doctors' salaries rise by an average of 1.8 per cent annually.
The pay rise would add Can$4,400 (€2,800) to a GP's average annual income of Can$245,000 (€154,000).
But it would still be 15 to 20 per cent lower than doctors are paid in Ontario.
Gaetan Barrette, the Quebec health minister, said last month that if doctors "feel they are overpaid, they can leave the money on the table - I guarantee you I can make good use of it". (© Daily Telegraph, London)