In a strange move, nearly 800 doctors and 150 medical residents in the Canadian province of Quebec have signed a letter protesting against plans to raise their pay, stating that the funds would be better spent on other areas of the province’s troubled healthcare system.
“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 only thing that seems to be immune to the cuts is our salary,” said the letter.
A group of doctors and medical students who support public healthcare in Canada have drafted the letter demanding to scrap the recent pay raises negotiated by their professional associations.
Attracting attention around the world, the letter has accumulated 789 signatures of support, from GPs, specialists, residents and medical students till now.
Isabelle Leblanc, the president of the group behind the letter said, “It’s a tough stand to take. Some people find it difficult to understand why we would do something like this, but at this point for us, it’s what makes sense. If you ask physicians in the street, most will tell you that they would rather have more support and have a good working environment and have other professionals to refer their patients to, rather than having more money ”
“It’s the first time where we have a lot of physicians that are not that political, that are not that involved, that would not probably describe themselves as that progressive, who are saying OK, enough is enough, this is not working,” she added.
Reacting to the protest by the doctors, the province’s health minister, Gaétan Barrette, said he would happily direct the physicians’ pay raises to other areas of the health care system. “If they feel they’re overpaid, they can leave the money on the table. I guarantee that I can make good use of it,” he said.