Hundreds of Canadian doctors have rejected a new pay rise and instead called on the government to award the funds to their nursing colleagues and improve the public health system.
Over 600 physicians and specialists from Quebec signed the petition, which was shared online, after the doctors’ union negotiated a 1.4 and 1.8 per cent each for the next eight years, while nurses continued to work on a lower salary with a heavier patient load.
“We, Quebec doctors who believe in a strong public system, oppose the recent salary increases negotiated by our medical federations,” they wrote in the petition.
“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 and the centralisation of power in the Ministry of Health. The only thing that seems to be immune to the cuts is our remuneration.
They criticised the government’s handling of the public health system and demanded the money be used to improve conditions for workers and patients alike.
“Contrary to the Prime Minister’s statements, we believe that there is a way to redistribute the 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,” they wrote.
It comes after Quebec nurse Emilie Ricard wrote a scathing post on Facebook directed at Quebec’s Health Minister Gaetan Barette.
“Another morning I finish my shift, exhausted, exhausted, which I’ve been busting my ass for because I’m the only nurse to cover 70-76 patients,” she wrote.
“I have so much stress that I’m sore all over my back, enough to keep me from sleeping, I don’t want to go to work because I’m dreading the burden that’s waiting for me. I’m coming home and I’m crying tired.”
The ABC reports that Barrette has responded to the doctor’s petition and said he would find something else to do with the money.
“If they feel they are overpaid, they can leave the money on the table. I guarantee you I can make good use of it,” he said.