BC revises incentives to sign new family doctors after rejection

The British Columbian government is returning to the drawing board of its plan to bring new doctors into the community amid a debilitating workforce shortage after numerous resident doctors criticized one of the proposed solutions for not properly considering the true financial and psychological costs that healthcare workers face.

The plan, which was presented to resident physicians during an online information session, offered new graduates and those who completed residencies in the last 12 months to enter into a full-time contract with an incentive.

It included budding physicians with a second-year salary of $295,457, as well as a one-time bonus of $25,000 on contracts signed before September 30, and a five-year loan write-off program of up to $130,000.

Sabrina Trigo and Edward Fang, both residents of the University of British Columbia’s family medicine program, say they know this might sound like a good deal to someone outside of healthcare, but it really isn’t.

“You don’t really do what they say. You earn less than half of that,” Trigo said.

The contracts stipulate that doctors are independent contractors. This means they do not receive benefits or retirement plans, are not eligible for practice insurance reimbursement, which Trigo says can range from $10,000 to $35,000, and must cover their own overhead costs, which are estimated at $25. -40%. income.

Add in annual license fees and deduct taxes, and Trigo says family doctors are paid much less than other medical professionals who have far fewer years of training behind them.

In addition, Fan says that they must do the work of the three doctors. They are paid for eight hours of seeing patients, but are not compensated for all the administrative work they have to do behind the scenes. In addition, according to Fang, they must work evenings and weekends and be available at any time in between.

“Essentially they are playing us for fools and making us do more for less money,” he said.

He and Trigo agree that the contracts are cashing in on new family doctors who have had no income for about 10 years, are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and need money to start enrolling.

The problem the province can’t solve is the work environment itself, Fang said. Without much more serious reform, the profession will remain a revolving door, he said.

Physicians of British Columbia, a voluntary organization representing physicians, residents and students of British Columbia, confirmed that the province is revisiting its original proposal.

“The government is currently including the feedback in an updated proposal that they will soon share with residents,” the organization said in an emailed statement, adding that they were not consulted on the original stimulus contract proposal.

“We have advised the government that getting feedback from doctors on proposals to address problems in the system is critical.”

They confirmed that the association is in separate talks with the Ministry of Health to address the larger issues around doctor retention, and is also engaging with doctors this week.

The Ministry did not agree to an interview with Minister Adrian Dicks, but did provide a brief statement saying it is working both to act quickly to end the shortage of doctors in British Columbia and to engage doctors to find significant solutions.

“This is only the first stages of consultations, and as part of the plan, consultations with residents are ongoing to meet their needs as this process unfolds,” the statement said.

According to Doctors of BC, about one million British Columbians currently do not have a family doctor.


@janeskrypnek
jane.skrypnek@bpdigital.ca

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