The Quebec government’s latest budget outlines plans to increase spending in the health sector by just over four per cent, but one union is calling it an “illusion.”
The Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) insists the new cash is not enough to offset Liberal cuts in previous budgets — saying the government has budgeted six per cent for doctor salaries, but if they obtain more than that, the government would be forced to eat into the money allotted for patient care.
The FIQ, which includes nurses but not doctors, say its members are forced to work overtime and the budget isn’t doing enough to assure high quality patient care.
The opposition Parti Québécois (PQ) argues the health department spends more per capita in salaries than the rest of Canada.
“Four per cent is just to cover the growing normal costs, there’s no new services at four per cent,”said PQ Leader Jean-François Lisée.
WATCH BELOW: Debating doctors in Quebec
Quebec’s health minister insists doctors must be treated fairly.
“If we pay everybody less, there will be more money for care, there’s no doubt about that. So, are we to say we have to reduce wage increases in this province?” asked Health Minister Gaétan Barrette.
“It’s one thing to stigmatize a group; what’s important to us is to enter into a negotiation where everything is on the table with doctors.”
Lisée is calling for a freeze on doctor salaries.