2018-03-07 from cbc.ca

If you thought having well-paid doctors would translate into having better access to health care, a new study suggests you were mistaken.

While Quebec's doctors saw the total amount devoted to their salaries double over a 10-year period, the number of days they worked went down, as did the number of patients they saw.

Those are some of the findings of an independent study commissioned by Quebec's Health and Welfare Commissioner.

"The sustainability of the health care system is threatened by the level of investment in compensation, whereas in just about every sector there has been a drop in investment," said Damien Contandriopoulos, one of the researchers.

In 2006, the province's doctors were paid a total of $3.3 billion. That amount jumped to $6.6 billion by 2015, an average annual increase of about 8 per cent.

Meanwhile, by 2015, doctors were working an average of seven fewer days than they were in 2006 and were seeing about two fewer patients per day of work.

The study's findings come a week after a group of doctors banded together to ask the government to cancel another planned raise for the province's doctors and spend the money on patient care and resources for their underpaid and overworked colleagues instead.

Across the province, nurses have been sharing their frustration with their work conditions, staging sit-ins and posting videos to social media.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said much of the information in the study isn't new and presents a picture of the past.

The Liberals introduced Bill 20, which put quotas on the minimum number of patients doctors have to see, in 2015.

"What's unfortunate is that the study doesn't go far enough to show the results of those changes," he told reporters in Montreal.

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