Thursday, February 24, 2011

High demand, no jobs

The irony of the Canadian health care system is that patients can wait years for a consultation with a foot surgeon, and yet there be a job shortage for orthopedic foot surgeons. The reason? Hospitals have a disincentive to hire more surgeons because each operation increases the hospital's operating expenditure. This is in contrast to, say, joint arthroplasties, which governments have made a priority by providing bonuses to hospitals for performing. Is this fair?

The job shortage extends to nephrologists and community medicine physicians. For more, see tomorrow's Globe article.