According to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) the average gross payment for a Canadian physician in 2013 was approximately $328,000. Now I understand that many physicians have additional fees to cover since they normally run their own business, but think about it, their only employees are a secretary, maybe two, and they only rent out a substantially small area to fit in a waiting room and few offices.But this number is over 8 times the average Canadian salary of $38,700 found in the latest household survey of Statistics Canada. Yet physicians are charging their patients for petty tasks such as filling out compensation forms, writing medical notes for employers, refilling prescriptions and even in some cases responding to phone calls. Many of these fees differ between each physician but each one is not eligible for compensation by OHIP or just about any type of insurance or coverage.

This more service more money phenomenon encourages physicians to also provide more treatments, even unnecessary ones. Art by Neha Sekhon

This more service more money phenomenon encourages physicians to also provide more treatments, even unnecessary ones. Art by Neha Sekhon

According to the CIHI report the average cost of a clinical service puts about $58.15 in each physicians’ pockets. For family doctor’s that is about $43.45 per each patient visit, and about $77.69 for specialists. Now, we are shown to be at an all-time record level in Canada’s number of physicians per the 100,000 population, as of 2013 CIHI reports that number to be approximately 220. But as you can see, physicians still have an outrageous amount of future income because their patients are still endless.

The CIHI report also shows that 71 per cent ofthe total clinical payments for Canadian physicians’ are fee-for-service; otherwise insurance money from the state. So if we scratch the 29 per cent of alternative payments – which our petty little doctor’s notes fall under – the average gross payment for a physician will turn into about $232,880 which is still over six times the average Canadian salary. But apparently that is not enough. Still the wealthy make attempts to take all they can from the lower classes, otherwise continuing our countries wonderful cycle of keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor.

To bounce off of this fabulous fee-for-service payment that dominates our medical system, while physicians are still trying to take money out of Canadian’s direct pockets, they too have the opportunity to get all they can from the state. This system has created an emphasis on volume over quality,which gives physicians even more money, us less professionalism. Ever wonder why your family physician tries to cover only one problem at a time during visits? Well they get paid for each service, so if they separate each one of your concerns into different visits they get more money. Very convenient for the ones that have to take more time off work in order to put more money in our rich physicians pockets eh? Ever wonder why you have to wait a substantial amount of time for your scheduled appointment with your family physician? Well they are always over booked of course, the more patients equals more services which equals more money for the rich doctors yet again, and less time spent with each patient. This more service more money phenomenon encourages physicians to also provide more treatments, even unnecessary ones. Again, resulting in us taking time off work, losing money and physicians gaining even more money!

Honestly docs, you seem to be doing one hell of a job getting all you can from our government. Since these wonderful tactics are already wasting your patients’ time and money, how about you cut it out with the additional payments that take you only a matter of minutes to do anyway?

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