The province says a signing incentive package that received some criticism when it was introduced in June has since convinced 54 new family doctors to come on board.
The package offers new medical graduates a starting salary of $295,457 (normally obtained in year two), a signing bonus of $25,000 and and a five-year loan forgiveness program for up to $130,000. It also promises signees a $75,000 payment to go toward overhead costs for the clinic they become employed by.
This final perk wasn’t included in the initial deal presented to resident doctors back in June, when a number of them spoke out publicly against the province’s offer.
At the time, University of British Columbia residents Sabrina Trigo and Edward Fang told Black Press Media that the contracts didn’t include benefits, pension plans or practice insurance reimbursement, which Trigo estimated at $10,000 to $35,000, or overhead costs estimated at between 25 to 40 per cent of income. They said while the deal may sound good to someone outside the profession, it doesn’t come close to covering the financial and mental toll the job takes within the current health-care worker shortage.
Following the backlash, Doctors of BC said the province was reconsidering its original proposal. The $75,000 overhead cost payment has been added since then.
On top of the 54 doctors who have officially signed, the province says it’s in discussions with another 60 prospective signees and that a total of 140 new family physicians have expressed interest since June.
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