Alberta may join Ontario in fight against doctors' fees -

Alberta may join Ontario in fight against doctors’ fees


Ontario may soon have allies in its fight to claw back fees for some physicians. Alberta, which recently gave doctors an $181 million raise, has signalled it too is looking to cut costs, joining B.C., Nova Scotia and Manitoba in the battle against the (medical fee) bulge, according to a story in Wednesday’s Globe.

The Globe’s Adam Radwanski, meanwhile, has a good breakdown of exactly who stands to lose money under the Ontario plan, and why:

Three groups of specialists – radiologists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists – have seen their pay rise astronomically since the 1990s, largely because advances in technology have enabled them to perform more procedures than previously. Now, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals want to cut their rates by double-digit percentages, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. It’s not the only measure aimed at freezing the total amount spent on doctors’ wages, which effectively means a cut to per-doctor spending, but it’s the largest one.

It’s easy to see where the government is coming from. Cataract surgeons are acknowledged even by many doctors to be overpaid, with some making more than $1-million annually. Diagnostic radiologists join them in averaging more than $650,000 in annual fees, making them the two highest-paid groups of doctors. Cardiologists aren’t much behind, averaging nearly $600,000 annually. Even subtracting overhead costs that doctors pay, that’s a lot of money for fairly straightforward work, by medical standards.

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Alberta may join Ontario in fight against doctors’ fees

  1. The doctors are holding governments hostage. It is time governments introduce competition to weaken the doctor’s monopoly. There are thousand of foreign-trained doctors waiting to practise but for a lack of resident space. The Ontario government can hire all these doctors on salary (that will reduce cost) and if they work 5 years for the Ontario government, they will get their independent practice license. It is time to overrule the College of Physicians and Surgeons as the college is acting more like a guild to protect the profession than to regulate.

    • They’ve pretty much had it all their own way for a long tiome. I showed up ten minutes late for a doctors appointment once, and when I informed the nurse that I wasn’t prepared to wait over an hour to get to see him, the doctor came out into the packed waiting room, and in a loud voice said, ‘This man is no longer a patient of mine.” I personally witnessed another doctor pad his account with a number of bogus entries, had another doctor make a homosexual pass at me, and after reporting some other incidents to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, been reassured that something would be done about the matter. My guess is that like a lot of other complaints they receive, nothing of any real consequence is ever done about them.