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Quebec health minister suggests ‘extra’ medical fees come out of doctor salaries

Click to play video: 'Health Minister Barrette explains medical fees' Health Minister Barrette explains medical fees
WATCH ABOVE: Health Minister Gaétan Barrette sat down with Global News reporter Felicia Parrillo to discuss the situation of medical fees and how they affect patients – May 3, 2016

MONTREAL – Extra health care fees may soon be a thing of the past, according to the Quebec Liberals.

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The Couillard government has announced a new plan to deal with the controversial issue, which can cost patients up to $500 for minor operations or other procedures.

In one year, that could total $50 million for those seeking medical treatment.

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For months, opposition parties have accused the health minister of wanting to legalize extra fees under Bill 20, which would set patient quotas for family doctors.

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Barrette’s office said Monday the government wants the fees to be included in doctor salaries, something that will have to be discussed during negotiations.

The government has been evaluating the actual costs that end up on a patient’s plate and discovered that they are much lower than expected.

“What we saw is that those costs are so low, there’s no reason in our view for them not to be included in the fee schedule of doctors,” Barrette said.

WATCH BELOW: Quebec health minister Gaétan Barrette addresses issues in the province

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The province’s 20,000 doctors and specialists currently make a combined total of about $7 billion.

That amount is expected to rise to $9 billion in five years, an increase of 87.5 per cent between 2010 and 2020.

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