Nova Scotia doctor salaries to remain private for now
The union representing some Nova Scotia nurses says there's a double standard that forces them to disclose salaries for those who make over $100,000 a year, while doctors are exempt.
Under a two-year-old law in the province, taxpayers can find out which public sector workers earn six-figure salaries. That includes 100 public sector bodies and government agencies such as nurses, administrators and university professors.
Doctors who are paid with public money are considered to be a special case.
"Physicians are complicated," said Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald. "We have fee for service physicians. We have physicians who are on alternate payment plans. Our specialists in particular are on alternate payment plans and it's much more complex."
But the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union doesn't agree with that rationale.
"The rules should apply," said Joan Jessome, president of the NSGEU. "They apply to one profession, they should apply to all."
The department of finance said there are approximately 2,300 physicians in Nova Scotia who are paid a total of $700 million a year. That averages out to just over $300,000 each, but specialists are typically paid much more than family physicians.
Doctors Nova Scotia said many factors need to be included when looking at a physician's salary. That includes overhead costs, the number of hours they work, and the different pay structures.
MacDonald said there are no plans to include doctors in the legislation in the near future.
With files from Yvonne Colbert