The wide gaps between specialities are also a chronic concern, though little action has been taken to rectify it. Ontario spent $4-million on a report released in 2002 that used a complex formula to methodically calculate the value of every medical service on the schedule of fees. The result was a major reshuffling of the pool of money paid to doctors, with some like radiologists seeing major drops in their fees and others such as neurosurgeons graced with increases. Perhaps the most-cited inequity involves fees for some eye operations, such as cataract removal. New technology makes them faster to carry out, but in many provinces the payment has stayed the same, resulting in something of a windfall for ophthalmologists. The reaction to the recommendations was swift. The losing specialties voiced outrage, predicting harm to patients and a mass flight out of the province. As had happened when B.C. and Alberta went through a similar process, nothing ever came of the report. Comparing Canada to other countries is tricky, given the different methods of paying doctors and varying costs of living. A 2009 report by the Organization for economic co-operation and development (OECD) tries to even it all out, relating doctor pay to each nations average worker salaries. It puts Canadian specialist doctors at 4.7 times the average wage, higher than all but Germany and Holland, with the U.K.
Canadian doctor dies in Grand Canyon-area BASE jump
— An extreme jumper killed in a leap near the Grand Canyon in Arizona was identified by authorities as Canadian physician David Stather. Stather, a 41-year-old pulmonary specialist from Calgary, died Friday while making a BASE jump in a wing suit in Coconino County, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday. Stather had told two companions he was going to make one more jump and climbed back up a cliff, Detective Pat Barr of the county sheriff’s office said. “The two stayed behind at the bottom to watch for him,” Barr said. “After a period of time went by and they did not see him jump, so they decided to hike back to the top. They could not locate him at the top of the rim where their cars were parked.” Stather’s body was found the next day. Police said he had jumped from a steep cliff. “Between where they would launch from and the canyon floor, there is terrain on the way down, almost as if it’s a ridges and a step type terrain,” Barr said. “The idea is to fly over all those ridges to get down to the bottom, and it appears he may have miscalculated the height of one of those ledges and did collide with it.” BASE stands for building, antenna, span and earth. BASE jumpers make their leaps without aid of aircraft. Elaine Dumoulin, a colleague and friend of Stather, said he was a frequent skydiver. “He was an amazing guy. He was very generous, very intense. He was living his life 200 percent,” Dumoulin said.