In Canada’s Quebec, more than 500 doctors and 150 medical students have signed a public letter in protest over their own pay rises, in what seems like a demand for a decrease in their salaries.
On February 25, a group representing Quebec doctors and advocates for public health started an online petition citing that they get paid enough.
The 213 general practitioners, 184 specialists, 149 resident medical doctors and 162 medical students want the money used for their raises to be returned to the system instead.
“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,” the letter says.
“We, Quebec doctors, are asking that the salary increases granted to physicians be canceled and that the resources of the system be better distributed for the good of the health care workers and to provide health services worthy to the people of Quebec.”
The group, known as Médecins Québécois pour le Régime Public (MQRP), added that good conscience prevented it from accepting a pay hike when working conditions continued to be difficult for others in their profession and patients “live with the lack of access to required services because of drastic cuts in recent years.”
“We, Quebec doctors who believe in a strong public system, oppose the recent salary increases negotiated by our medical federations”, the letter says, according to CNBC.
“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 centralization of power in the Ministry of Health.
“The only thing that seems to be immune to the cuts is our remuneration”, the letter adds.
So far, more than 700 physicians, general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students have signed the petition.
“If our colleagues are happier, if our patients are getting better care, we’ll all be winners, and it’s not an increase in pay that will do that,” Dr. Isabelle Leblanc, MQRP president told CNBC news.