GPs say they’re underpaid compared to medical specialists

General practitioners across the province say the gap between their salaries and the salaries of medical specialists is too wide and it is affecting their recruitment.

The salary difference between family doctors and medical specialists was 58 per cent in 2011. Data from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec revealed the average salary for a general practitioner in 2011 was $211 283 per year compared to the average salary of $334 132 per year for a medical specialist.

“We have been saying for a long time that this gap is too important, we recognize that we have to have a difference but not at this level,” Dr. Louis Godin, President of the federation of Quebec general practitioners said.

“It has many impacts on the recruitment of young doctors to be family physicians.”

The federation of Quebec medical specialists says its members make more because they work more hours.

“The main area of work for us is in hospital, so we have to do calls, days are longer, when you work in a private office you can select the number of hours that you work in a week, which we cannot do,” Dr. Gaétan Barette, President of the federation of Quebec medical specialists said.

But Godin says there is only a 5 per cent difference in work hours, which does not justify how much more specialists make.

The federation of medical specialists also says its members spend more on equipment.

Salaries for general practitioners are expected to go up 23.9 percent by 2017, which is 5 per cent more than the projected increase for specialists.

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