Montreal and the province of Quebec seem to be a little polarized this week, all thanks to a sparked conversation surrounding the province's doctors. 

Nearly half of family physicians work a 4-day work week, and this has locals mad. 

Between 2016-2017, about 48% of general health practitioners in Quebec worked less than 200 days, in fact, enjoying 4-day (or less!) work weeks according to Ministry of Health data. 

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Actually, 22% of this group of doctors working the minimal amounts hit less than 150 annual work days! 


Though the released document from the Ministry of Health doesn't detail exact numbers, the other 52% worked over 200 days in the year.

Minister of Health Gaétan Barrette stood against these numbers and is pushing on Bill 20 which forced doctors to take on more patients in Quebec and to be available for 210 days, or 42 weeks in a single year.

Barrette wrote in an open letter in 2015 that if today's doctors worked a 42-week full-time basis per year, every citizen would have access to their family doctor in a timely manner.

However, Quebec is still pretty far off from this goal, with a general average of doctors working 190 days over 251 working days, in total. 


A study by Damien Contandriopoulos spoke about the earnings of family doctors, and how in the last 10 years their annual salaries have increased by 78%.

Essentially, doctors in Canada are making more and working less. 

Still, arguments over what counts as "one day" of work are important to consider. For example, if a family doctor pulls double duty and works a 16-hour day, it counts just for one day. Additionally, many doctors a spend the 5th day in the work week dedicated solely to patient paperwork.

Family doctors around the country are also noting that their patient cases have changed, with about 30% of their workload now being dedicated to mental health, as well. 

So, productivity vs amount of hours worked is another factor that the public maybe does not consider when thinking of the bigger picture. 

The arrival of fresh and young health practitioners has begun to fill that void of family doctors. Many of these new doctors are taking on new patients as well. 

All things considered, I believe there a good points made on both sides of this "argument." 

What do you think? Should our doctors be working more for their money?

You can read the full 2015-2018 analysis document right here.

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