Physician payment disclosure is part of government’s commitment to increase clarity and accountability in the health system. Physician services is one of government’s largest expenses, at 10% of government’s entire budget.
The Physician Funding Framework, designed to manage growth in physician spending so government can address important frontline health care priorities like reducing surgical wait times, improving mental health and addiction services, and expanding the number of continuing care beds, also provides information on overall physician compensation.
Benefits of disclosing
Disclosing physician payment information:
- helps Albertans understand more clearly how physicians are paid
- raises awareness about health spending
- meets or exceeds the disclosure information of other provinces currently posting physician payments online, including British Columbia, New Brunswick and Manitoba
- aligns with other Alberta government public sector payment and compensation disclosures
Who is being disclosed
- The physician disclosure list applies to Alberta physicians who are paid fee-for-service (FFS) benefits.
- These physicians operate as independent contractors who are paid under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan for the insured medical services they provide.
- Physicians employed by the Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services or another public health body may have salary and benefits associated with their employment disclosed under public sector employee salary and severance disclosures.
What is being disclosed
Disclosure only includes gross payments of FFS benefits paid to physicians under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, not the physician’s net income or take-home pay.
Physicians pay for expenses such as staff salaries, clinic lease and operating costs, and equipment from these gross payments before they pay themselves.
Payment amounts come from health service claims physicians submit to the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan for services provided to Albertans.
Physician practice varies between specialties – this can cause variances in total payments, days worked and patients seen.
What’s not disclosed
Disclosure does not include other publicly funded payments received by a physician, such as through payment arrangements like an Alternative Relationship Plan, benefits, payments from patients, or private health insurance for services that are outside the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. This could include other payments like salaries paid by universities, fees paid to participate in drug trials and payments for services that are not insured.