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Federal government’s tax move puts access to health care at risk, says CMA – Caribbean News Global

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OTTAWA, Canada – The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is deeply disappointed by deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland that the federal government plans to proceed with tax changes that will add undue pressure and financial strain on physicians, undermining the stability of our health-care system.

Canadian medical organizations from coast to coast to coast have advocated to government in recent weeks for physicians to be exempt from the planned increase to the capital gains inclusion rate.

Most physicians enter practice with significant debt and do not have access to employer or government pension plans, benefits, sick leave, parental leave or paid vacation. Moreover, physicians invest their own money to build the necessary infrastructure to provide care to patients, while also relying on their professional corporations to save for important life events. When there are cost increases to rent, insurance premiums, medical supplies or anything else, physicians cannot simply pass those costs onto patients because fees are set with the province or territory in which they practise medicine.

The proposed increase to the capital gains inclusion rate imposes yet another barrier to retaining and recruiting physicians as the first dollar of capital gains realized in a medical professional corporation will be subject to the higher inclusion rate of 66.67 percent. Corporations are not eligible for the $250,000 yearly capital gains threshold afforded to individuals.

In a time when Canada’s health systems are under ever increasing strain, where patients struggle to access timely care and health care providers burn out from trying to hold together a crumbling system, introducing new reasons for physicians to consider scaling back community-based care is simply the wrong move.

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