Jan 22, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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Payments for doctors’ services in Canada have risen to more than $20 billion.

That’s  the third largest component of health-care spending after hospitals and drugs.

A new report by  the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows payouts to  doctors across the country rose by six per cent in 2010-2011 – a slower growth rate than in the previous two years.

The average Canadian doctor was paid $307,000 last year.

Provincially,  the average ranged from a low of $236,000 in Prince Edward Island to a high of $350,000 in Alberta.

The figures represent an overall average and vary significantly depending on a doctor’s specialty.

And  the figures are gross amounts, from which many physicians must pay office overhead costs such as rent, nurses’ salaries, taxes and  insurance for their practice.

About 70 per cent of payments to doctors are fee-for-service billings, with family practitioners receiving an average of $40 per service and specialists $74.

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