I write this note as a rural physician working as one half of the FTE on Hornby Island. I work in relative isolation and feel isolated by financial discrimination that very few in the province experience. Fifteen to twenty of us work without a group to rely on and without a small hospital or well-equipped or nurse-staffed emergency room in a clinic.
For bearing the extra load solo 24 hours daily we have theoretically been given, as a result of the arbitrator’s report about 3 years ago, something called isolation money. It does not come close to MOCAP money, but it helps. We don’t qualify for MOCAP because we don’t do “on call.”
This money is owed at the end of the fiscal year, i.e., April 1. Each year we wait and wait, usually at least 6 months, and when the money is finally reluctantly paid, unlike overdue MSP payments, there is no interest. This is not rocket science. There is a lot of talk about support for rural medicine. Sour grapes? What other group would be so mistreated?
—Bob Henderson, MD
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