Alberta Flu Doctors Want $500/Hour

Here's something to chew on while you're ruminating on the Canadian Medical Association's plan to push governments on private-sector solutions to health care problems (Star Phoenix). The Alberta Medical Association wants its flu doctors to earn $500/hour. From a canoe.com article:

The Province and the Alberta Medical Association are now trying to hammer out a deal on compensation for doctors who'd volunteer in the case of a renewed and widespread swine flu (H1N1) pandemic here, said Alberta Health spokesman John Tuckwell, who insisted the proposed pay scale is still "premature."

In a letter to doctors, the association lists a series of rates that could be paid if the province was scrambling to deal with a major flu outbreak this fall. The top rate quoted for doctors who volunteer to be part of the flu-fighting team would be $518.45 an hour.

Full article here.

I am reluctant to question the motives of Canada's valued doctors. When they say they want to reform Canada's health care system by lobbying for more private sector delivery, I'm not going to immediately call them a pack of greedy, manipulative jackels using a manufactured health care crisis to extort higher profits from Canada's publicly-funded system.

No, I'll respectfully listen to what they have to say.

But $500/hour? That's insane. Tons of Canadians working full time barely make $500 a week. And I sincerely doubt there are many "volunteers" making that kind of coin. (Do Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan even earn that kind of money?)

I know there's a strong culture of compassion for patients among Canada's doctors. And I know a lot of doctors support Canada's public system and are concerned about some of the directions suggested for it (Doctors for Medicare).

I'm just worried there's also a growing culture of "I want my second yacht".

Six In The Morning

PRIVATE PRESCRIPTIONS Doctors at the Canadian Medical Association conference call for private competion in health system and a ban on antibacterial soaps (Globe And Mail). The conference wrapped up yesterday in Saskatoon.

SASK HIV RATES SKYROCKETING AMONG FIRST NATIONS Not a new story (this was reported on extensively a few months back) but still critically important. (CJME)

AFGHANISTAN ELECTION COUNT BEGINS Votes are being counted. (Guardian)

ANONYMOUS SMEARERS, BEWARE A maligned model forces Google to reveal the identity of the blogger who cyber-bashed her. (Globe And Mail)

ALIENS? OR JUST SOME ASS-HAT? A mutilated cow found on a farm north of Saskatoon might not be the victim of animal predators. (CBC)

HEADLINE OF THE DAY! "Flight to Ottawa delayed by drunken fracas". (CBC)