$9 million per year

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 50, No. 9, November 2008, Page 493 Letters

I noticed that senior BC civil servants were recently given substantial raises to make their salaries competitive. This logic brings to mind one issue that has not been mentioned in discussions about deficiencies in our health care system, namely executive compensation. CEOs of public hospitals are paid a pittance in comparison with their colleagues in the private sector. Apparently, their salar­ies should be more in the range of $9 million per year (the average compensation for CEOs of Canada’s top 100 companies)—plus stock options based on numbers of meetings, baskets of services, and patients processed per minute, one assumes. This is the kind of incentive that is needed to, as we privateers like to say, bring the best and brightest executive talent to the table.

Now of course, in line with economics as interpreted by those with the most to gain, we would need to decrease the salaries of semi-skilled public physicians, health care workers, cleaners, and supporting actors significantly. Possibly we may need to de-unionize everyone (sorry BCMA). This free market should increase productivity and motivation for everybody to work harder, smarter, and faster. This is until said labor burns out and is replaced by still cheaper stakeholders from offshore.

In other words, welcome to the 19th century.

—Michael Dettman, MD 

Michael Dettman, MD,. $9 million per year. BCMJ, Vol. 50, No. 9, November, 2008, Page(s) 493 - Letters.

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