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Dear Editor,

I am well aware of your total commitment to accuracy, transparency and research in everything you write. It is for that reason I am writing to you today. I do not want to be the person who inadvertently would compromise that commitment by mistakenly giving not only yourself but any one listening to ‘The Roundtable’ Open Line show a month ago misinformation. On that show I said that a doctor covering for another doctor (a locum) was paid by that physician personally and that is indeed factual. What was incorrect was the amount I said was being paid.

I had stated the amount was $140 and hour. You had quoted me absolutely correctly in a news story following the show. Again you absolutely correctly referenced the show (which is as about as public as you can get!) as the place where the statement was made. On a personal note, if you are going to make a mistake it would be preferable to make it in a less public setting so that when you have to correct yourself you look at getting back to a few people as opposed to 1,000’s which would be the number between The Hub and CFOS!

The reality is both media sources are committed to accuracy and I totally respect that and so I am writing to you to apologise in much the same way I spoke to the following correction on yesterday’s radio show. I made a mistake when I was responding to a suggestion that a physician could do a weekend locum at the Family Health Team for $10,000. I asked a trusted source for clarification. First let me say that my trusted source is so tired at the end of every day from dealing with the fallout from the pandemic that he must be forgiven for this slip and I should have realised the limitations of a response from a man who is struggling to stay awake until 8 o’clock before collapsing into bed.

In any event, the trusted source told me he paid a locum $140 an hour to cover for him when he is away. That is the number I quoted on air and you accurately quoted me. The trusted source has now corrected the number. The amount paid to a locum is $120 per hour. I apologise to for giving the incorrect information and feel particularly badly because you were kind enough to trust me as a reliable source. I am both sorry and embarrassed but appreciate that you will help me set the record straight.

A few other observations regarding this subject. The inference that can be taken from this particular ongoing discussion of a physician’s salary is that physicians like my husband are receiving $10,000 for a weekend’s work. That is absolutely not the case. It is a position the Board at the Family Health Organisation appears to have tried to clarify according to your recent editorial.

Everyone is working hard to stay the course and to survive physically and emotionally this third and hopefully final wave of the pandemic. I guess that is why I feel now more than ever it is so important to not muddy the waters and if you are going to be involved in controversy whether it is of your making or not, be sure you are accurate in what you say and for that reason I have felt the need to make sure I have corrected my statement.

Thank you for allowing me to set the record straight and again, my apologies,

Ruth Lovell Stanners
Owen Sound


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