Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Alberta doctors could earn $518/hour pandemic pay

If and when the H1N1 pandemic returns to Canada, Alberta doctors could earn thousands of dollars a day by caring for the sick. B.C. doctors are still thinking about it.

Under a Physician Financial Support Program, set out by the Alberta Medical Association and published on August 14, doctors will be lavishly paid if a public health emergency is declared:

All physicians who opt to practise during a pandemic and make themselves available to work within the AHS response plan would be guaranteed a minimum payment for the period of the pandemic. The minimum guarantee is agreed to be 100% based on the individual physician’s average weekly historical billing for the previous 12 months or average weekly payments through an alternate relationship plan (ARP).

Physicians will have the option to bill either fee for service or an hourly rate provided that the choice does not disrupt delivery of the pandemic response plan. The proposed rates are:

•$259.23/hr weekdays

•$403.24/hr on evenings and weekends

•$518.45/hr nights including weekend nights

This support may be strengthened by another program that would provide a guaranteed income for physicians who fall ill while caring for pandemic patients. Details are still under discussion.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the B.C. Medical Association said it's not yet certain whether a similar program will apply in British Columbia, but an announcement may be made, one way or the other, sometime next week.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus