3 highest-paid doctors in N.B. earned just under 2M last year

Most New Brunswick doctors earned between $80,000 and $399,999 during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, according to the Department of Health's unaudited payments to medical practitioners. (David Donnelly/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Most New Brunswick doctors earned between $80,000 and $399,999 during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, according to the Department of Health's unaudited payments to medical practitioners. (David Donnelly/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Two diagnostic radiologists and an ophthalmologist were the highest-paid physicians in New Brunswick last year.

Dr. J. Stewart MacMillan, a diagnostic radiologist in Miramichi, Dr. Martin Finnegan, a diagnostic radiologist at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, and Dr. Julien Saad, an ophthalmologist in Dieppe, each earned between $1.95 million and $1,999,999, according to the office of the comptroller's annual report on physician compensation for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.

Thirty-five physicians earned at least $1 million, the report shows.

It covers unaudited payments to medical practitioners by the Department of Health for medically insured services, as per the Medical Services Payment Act, as well as for "specific entitled benefits."

The amounts — listed only as a range, not a specific number — represent gross earnings and do not reflect expenses some doctors may have, such as staff salaries or rent, the department has previously said.

New Brunswick has about 1,900 practising physicians. The majority earned less than $400,000 from the province last year but the number who make more than $1 million continues to grow.

3 topped list in 2020-21 too

MacMillan, Finnegan and Saad were among the top earners in 2020-21 as well.

As diagnostic radiologists, MacMillan and Finnegan would diagnose diseases and injuries using medical imaging equipment, such as X- rays, CT scans and MRI scans.

Ophthalmologists like Saad have more training than opticians and optometrists and are able to diagnose and treat all eye diseases and perform eye surgery.

MacMillan tied for top spot in 2020-21 with former Sussex family physician Dr. Sunita MacMullin, each earning between $1.65 million and $1,699,999.

That's roughly $300,000 less than MacMillan's latest billings. He also led the province's list of top billers in 2016-17 and in 2015-16.

MacMullin, who had been ordered to repay the Department of Health more than $500,000 in Medicare billings, closed her Sussex practice in February and now practices in Ontario.

MacMullin, who was consistently one of New Brunswick's highest-earning physicians in recent years, was told she overcharged the province after a review of her fees-per-service billed between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2021, according to court documents.

In November, the province dropped its second audit of her fees-per-service billings between 2016 and 2019, ending her court challenge of the probe. The status of MacMullin's challenge of the results of the 2019-21 audit are not clear.

Finnegan ranked third in 2020-21, earning between 1.5 million and 1,549,999. He has topped the list before, including in 2019-20, when he was paid between $1.9 million and $1.95 million, and in 2017-18, when he was paid between $1,650,000 and $1,699,999.

Saad was the second-highest paid physician in the province in 2020-21, with payments of between 1,550,000 and $1,599,999.

Other top-earners last year include:

  • Dr. Le Luan, a family doctor in St. Martins, $1,850,000 to $1,899,999.

  • Dr. Houfar Sekhavat, an ophthalmologist in Dieppe, $1,700,000 to $1,749,999.

  • Dr. Kenneth Roberts, an ophthalmologist in Fredericton, $1,650,000 to $1,699,999.

  • Dr. Remi Savoie, a diagnostic radiologist at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, $1,500,000 to $1,549,999.

This is the seventh year the province has released amounts it pays medical practitioners following a recommendation made in 2012 by then-auditor general Kim MacPherson.