Health

Canadian Doctors Protest Their Own Pay Hike — Say Medicare Needs More Money

Doctors in Quebec protested their own pay raises Saturday. As CBC News reports, they say there isn’t enough funding in Canada’s publicly funded health care system to give them more money.

The province awarded its 10,000 medical specialists another 1.4 percent raise in February while it signed a contract with general practioners that provides annual increases of 1.8 percent for the next eight years.

Lashanda Skerritt told CBC that she was protesting the pay increase because Medicare is not meeting all the needs of patients.

“The fact that there are patients that can’t have certain services that are really necessary for their care, yet we’re giving our resources to the top end of the health care system doesn’t really make sense,” said the second-year medical school student.

The group behind the Montreal march is called Médecins québécois pour le régime public (MQRP). They support Canada’s single-payer Medicare system but believe it doesn’t receive enough funding.

Political activists Amir Khadir and Diane Lamarre were also at the event. Khadir, a doctor, says Medicare is stretched in the province.

“I’m a specialist just coming back from the hospital and I can tell you, it’s worrisome,” Khadir told CBC.

Recent studies indicate a growing crisis in Canada’s socialized medicine. A report from the Fraser Institute, a conservative think tank, released last December showed how wait times for major operations had more than doubled in the last 25 years.

The institute also reported last August that a “typical Canadian family of four will pay $12,057 for health care in 2017—an increase of nearly 70 percent over the last 20 years.”

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