The president of Doctors of BC says he isn’t surprised after an Okanagan Medical Centre sent a letter to an employer noting they would start charging the company for sick notes.
Dr. Alan Ruddiman says he knows that physicians find sick notes to be a nuisance.
“Employers should be required to cover the cost because we’re tying up human resources, we’re unnecessarily having patients present to an office. And that type of service simply isn’t covered by the Medical Services Plan.”
He also says that getting a sick note for work seems like a silly formality.
“The issue of requiring patients to produce sick notes for a minor ailment, that we know if the patient just stayed at home and returned to work again when they were well – it just strikes me as very, very odd that an employer would require a worker to go and have a medical certificate produced for that.”
The Pemberton Medical Clinic sent the letter to an employer saying the notes “put an added burden on the health care system.”
Ruddiman was a guest on CKNW‘s Steele and Drex show.
LISTEN HERE for the full interview
The President and CEO of the Human Resource Management Association of BC and Yukon says it’s a balancing act.
Anthony Ariganello says both sides need to be very conscious.
“When I say both sides, I mean the medical practitioners need to understand that in some cases the employers have a cost to bare and they want to minimize that cost. I say that because the cost in loss in productivity and overtime associated to illness is quite huge.”
A 2012 report done by Sun Life Financial found there is more than 16.6 billion dollars lost to absenteeism.
Read that study in full below: