The Government of Nunavut spent $11.5 million on temporary doctors at the territory’s only hospital over a 20-month period, according to documents obtained by CBC News.
From April 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2012, 120 doctors were hired for locum contracts at the Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit. A locum is a temporary doctor who is flown in when the hospital is short-staffed
Documents obtained by CBC News through an Access to Information request show more than a dozen contracts were for a week or less. The shortest was for three days at $6,000. Another was for four days at $10,000.
A locum emergency room doctor is paid $2,100 for one 12-hour shift, a contract obstetrician earns $2,500 for a 24-hour shift, and doctors working eight hours in the clinic earn $1,200.
Besides their contracts the temporary doctors are also provided with return airfare and housing.