Income disparity

Recently I spent 15 minutes on the telephone answering a survey from the BCMA. At the end I realized not one question addressed was what I consider the single most important issue within our association: income disparity.
I am informed the pathologists in the Okanagan are considering an offer from the IHA of $293 400 pa, plus 6 weeks’ vacation and on-call payment. This raises the question—what are the pathologists in private practice making? The answer is, who knows? Why are pathologists, radiologists, and nuclear medicine physicians exempt from publication of their incomes? Some time ago a radiologist colleague described to me the group’s newly built diagnostic centre. My question is, who pays for this? I for one object to my MSP premiums enlarging another doctor’s real estate portfolio.

So where is all this heading? How can some groups generate huge personal incomes such as we are now seeing in the Okanagan and others be paid a pittance?

One may respond that these groups are actually underpaid whilst others are paid their due. This may be true, but it does not diminish the fact that profound disparity exists now and the BCMA seems incapable of resolving it.

—J. Smyth, MB

Dr Burak responds

I can assure Dr Smyth and all physicians that the issue of disparity is a priority of the BCMA. In the event of a favorable financial outcome from the upcoming negotiation process, the BCMA has a macro/micro allocation process in place to distribute new funds. This process was approved by a membership referendum in November 2003.

—Jack Burak, MD
BCMA President (Past)

Jack Burak, MD, J. Smyth, MB. Income disparity. BCMJ, Vol. 47, No. 6, July, August, 2005, Page(s) 283 - Letters.

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