More than 500 doctors in Canada’s Quebec have protested against a pay raise kick-starting a campaign demanding a decrease in their salaries, The Washington Post reported. On February 25, a group representing Quebec doctors and advocates for public health started an online petition citing that they get paid enough.
“We, Quebec doctors who believe in a strong public system, oppose the recent salary increases negotiated by our medical federations,” the Médecins Québécois Pour le Régime (MQRP) petition reads in French.
The group added 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.” Recently, different nurses unions in Quebec protested against the work hours demanding better conditions.
“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 CBC news.
The MQRP petition refers to the such conditions adding that the only thing immune to healthcare system cuts are salaries received by the doctors. “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,” the group said according to The Washington Post.
Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette took notice of the letter and reportedly said, “If they (doctors) feel they are overpaid, they can leave the money on the table. I guarantee you I can make good use of it.” He also said that the government has money to address the issue of other medical personnel but that didn’t mean it had “infinite amounts of money.”