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Budget may be a dose of tough medicine for doctors
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 11:45AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 29, 2013 6:24PM MST
Premier Alison Redford has some tough talk for Alberta doctors as the province struggles to find ways to save money ahead of the budget in March.
Redford is suggesting that doctors shouldn't expect more money for wages.
"But in tough times maybe we can't compensate them as well as we used to. Doctors really do make between 20 and 29 percent more in Alberta than they do in the rest of the country," said Redford.
Redford told CTV Morning Live that contract talks with Alberta's 7200 doctors are a priority but those negotiations are not going well.
The premier did not suggest a wage roll back but pointed out that doctors here are well compensated.
Last week, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that Alberta doctors make a gross yearly income of almost $350,000 compared with a national average of $307,000.
Redford says reinstating health care premiums for Albertans is not being considered but that it may be an option if times get tougher.
Those premiums netted the government an annual $1B before they were cancelled by Premier Ed Stelmach in 2008.
Redford also says that she will be conducting more telephone town halls with Albertans before the budget is handed down on March 7.