Health and Community Services
November 5, 2010
Responds to Resignation of 13 Salaried Specialists
The Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister
of Health and Community Services, and the Honourable Tom Marshall,
Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, today responded to
the resignation of 13 salaried specialists in the province.
"It is very unfortunate that 13 of the
province's 212 salaried specialists have tendered their resignations,"
said Minister Kennedy. "With the offer currently on the table, these
specialists would receive a raise of $60,000. In order to ensure
continuity of care for patients in our province, I will be instructing
the Regional Health Authorities to begin recruitment immediately to fill
"Through government's current offer for
the province's physicians, salaried specialists are being offered a 31
per cent increase to their salaries, which is a very generous offer that
brings them to 98 per cent parity with their Atlantic counterparts,"
said Minister Marshall. "Government's offer clearly demonstrates that we
are committed to working toward a reasonable and responsible agreement
while ensuring that it is sustainable and in the long-term interest of
all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."
The Provincial Government has put forward
an offer worth an additional $81 million to the 1,075 physicians in the
province. This offer represents an approximate 25 per cent increase to
the physician services base budget, bringing the total annual
compensation package to approximately $410 million. This generous offer
adds to significant investments already being made by the Williams
Government in the province's health care sector, with a record
investment of $2.7 billion in Budget 2010:
The Right Investments - For
Our Children and Our Future
. Healthcare spending by the Provincial
Government has increased by over $1 billion in the past 10 years.
"The average salary of salaried
specialists, besides oncologists and pathologists, is approximately
$200,000 plus an extra two weeks vacation that salaried specialists in
the Maritime provinces do not receive," said Minister Kennedy. "The
current offer would increase that average salary amount to $260,000."
Last week, Minister Marshall provided a
detailed response to a number of questions the NLMA recently posed
regarding the Provincial Government's offer.
"I responded in great detail to an
extensive list of questions that the NLMA recently sent us," said
Minister Marshall. "The doctors now have the answers they were seeking
and, as they have indicated, they plan to present the offer to the
membership shortly. It is indeed disappointing that this group of
specialists has chosen to take this action now."
There are more physicians employed in the
province than ever before. Since 2003, there has been an 18 per cent
increase in the number of physicians practicing in Newfoundland and
Labrador, representing 161 new doctors working in the province. Since
2004, the Provincial Government has awarded 299 bursaries, each with a
one-year return-in-service commitment, to 177 Memorial University
medical school applicants. This represents an investment of almost $7
million. Included in the graduating groups this year will be 28
physicians who have bursaries with the Provincial Government and
Additionally, in 2009, 14 of 17 family
practice residents who commenced practice were recruited, all with
bursaries and return-in-service commitments. Last year, 17 of 25
specialty residents who commenced practice were also recruited, nine of
whom had bursaries with return-in-service commitments.
"During my time as the Minister of Health
and Community Services, I have had the opportunity to speak personally
with a number of our province's physicians," said Minister Kennedy.
"While I am disappointed with the resignation today of 13 of the
province's salaried specialists, this does not take away from the hard
working, caring individuals who are committed to their patients and to
improving the health care system."
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Director of Communications
Department of Finance, Public Service Secretariat
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community
2010 11 05