Speed Reads

'pay me less' said no one ever

Canadian doctors don't want their pay raises, say money should go to nurses and lowered health-care costs

It's not often that an employee complains of being paid too much, but a group of more than 700 medical professionals in Canada are living up to their country's ultra-nice reputation. The doctors are protesting a scheduled pay raise, CNN reported Thursday, requesting that the money instead be redistributed to nurses' salaries as well as to lower costs for patients.

Physicians, specialists, resident doctors, and medical students in Quebec have signed an online petition stating that they don't want the $700 million worth of raises they were given last month as a result of negotiations with the provincial government.

"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," reads the petition, posted by a Quebecois health advocacy group.

The doctors pointed out that other health-care workers have faced drastic cuts in recent years, making working conditions more difficult for nurses, clerks, and hospital staff. "The only thing that seems to be immune to the cuts is our [salaries]," the doctors say, per the petition.

Physicians in Canada are paid an average salary of $260,000, while The Washington Post reports specialists make around $403,000 a year. A Quebec labor organization, by contrast, says nurses make around $50,000 per year. Quebec's health minister told CBC News that doctors are welcome to "leave the money on the table" so that it can be used elsewhere.