700+ Canadian physicians, med students sign protest to cancel salary raises

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An estimated 553 physicians and 163 medical students in Quebec signed a letter last month publicly protesting their own salary raises, according to CNBC.

The Feb. 25 letter was written by the Médecins Québécois pour le Régime Public, a physician group comprising more than 500 physicians practicing in the Quebec province of Canada. The signatories argue their salaries, paid for by Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services, should not increase, and should instead be returned to the system and redistributed among various other healthcare workers.

"We, Quebec doctors who believe in a strong public system, oppose the recent salary increases negotiated by our medical federations," the group wrote. "We … 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 healthcare workers and to provide health services worthy to the people of Quebec."

A September 2017 report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found Canadian physicians were paid slightly less than $339,000 Canadian dollars (roughly $261,060), on average, for their clinical services in 2015-16. The cost of medical school in Canada is also subsidized by provincial governments, depending on the student's citizenship status, according to the report.

The organization also published two other letters last month opposing pay increases for specialist physicians and denouncing the working conditions for nurses.

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