Gateway Gazette

Alberta Taxpayers Paying High Health-care Salaries and Benefits

By Franco Terrazzano

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a report showing Alberta’s health-care professionals earn more than their counterparts in other provinces.

Of the 26 health-care positions analyzed in the report, 24 are paid more than the average of the other provinces examined.

“The Alberta government needs to stop overcharging taxpayers and that means government employee compensation needs come down to a reasonable level,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “Taxpayers can’t afford to overpay doctors and health-care professionals.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Taxpayers would save over $900 million every year if the Alberta government matched per-person spending on doctors in the other large provinces;
  • The average fee-for-service salary for an Alberta doctor is $413,035, which is about $100,000 more than those in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, and 35 per cent more than the average in comparable provinces;
  • A Registered Nurse in Alberta who is eligible for the maximum compensation rate (salary plus benefits) earns $112,974 annually, which is more than $20,000 more than the same nurse in Manitoba;
  • Of the five different types of nursing positions examined, Alberta’s maximum salaries are all higher than those in B.C. and Quebec, and are only lower than one type of position in Ontario, a Graduate Nurse;
  • Over 90 per cent of Alberta’s health-care positions examined receive more than the average of the other provinces;
  • More than half of all positions examined earn more than $10,000 more than the average of the other provinces every year. 

The Alberta government spends more per-person on health care than any other province except Newfoundland and Labrador, but Albertans are not receiving the best results.

Despite spending $1,000 per-person more than people living in Ontario, Alberta’s wait times, from referral from general practitioner to treatment, is 10 weeks longer, according to the Blue Ribbon Panel

“Alberta taxpayers are paying for inflated salaries and benefits. That’s a key reason we’re paying so much for health care, but we aren’t seeing the best results,” said Terrazzano. “Not only are cuts needed, cuts are clearly justified.”

The report’s findings are based on freedom of information requests obtained by the CTF and publicly available data. The full report is available here.

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