CMA Remains Extremely Concerned About The Impact Of Capital Gains Tax Proposal On Access To Care

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The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) continues to hear from physicians from coast to coast to coast about the impact the proposed increase to the capital gains inclusion rate will have on medical practices at a time when access to community-based care remains a top concern for Canadians.

“The reality is that the federal government is putting at risk its own health care agenda, which is contingent on broadening access to family medicine, the foundation of our health care system,” says Dr. Kathleen Ross, CMA president. “We’re hearing from physicians who feel betrayed, discouraged and deflated by this latest development. We must not create more roadblocks that will add further stress to the health workforce or prevent prospective physicians from choosing to practise in Canada.”

The CMA is deeply concerned that increasing the capital gains inclusion rate for professional corporations will create yet another barrier to retaining and recruiting physicians in a time when our health system is already under constant strain. Many community-based physicians have incorporated their practices as a means of efficiently delivering health services to Canadians. Most physicians also do not have access to employer or government pension plans, benefits, sick leave, maternity leave or paid vacation nor are they able to raise fees to cover new or rising expenses. Instead, they rely on their professional corporations to save for these important life events

Following the announcement of the capital gains changes, physicians have raised several concerns with the CMA, including:

  • Shorter career spans: Most physicians start their career in their 30s, following a decade or more of medical school. In addition to carrying an average of $300,000 student debt, a physician’s career span is compressed making it even more difficult to save for retirement.
  • Health care infrastructure: Most physicians purchase or rent the infrastructure required to provide medical care in the community, such as office space, equipment, technology and staff. New physicians will shift away from community-based medical practice, causing a significant care and infrastructure deficit.
  • Physician shortage: Given the shortage of physicians world-wide, creating favourable and enduring conditions to attract and retain physicians are necessary if we’re serious about expanding access to care.

Canadians are also concerned about the impact of the capital gain proposal on access to care. In a recent Abacus Data survey, 76% of those who shared an opinion about the policy proposal said they would like to see government reverse the proposed tax change.

The CMA remains convinced that an exemption for medical professional corporations, which recognizes the various medical practice structures that have been used by physicians for decades, is needed to stabilize and future-proof access to community-based medical care for patients today and into the future.


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