CMA should establish a Canadian National Physician Pension Plan #CNPPP
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We, the undersigned, petition the Canadian Medical Association, and its subsidiary CMA Investco, to develop a Canadian National Physician Pension Plan using the $2.6 Billion in proceeds from the sale of MD Physician Services.
Physician Burnout in Canada is in epidemic proportions, greatly affecting patient care. Financial worry and lack of work-life balance are cited as major contributors to burnout. By providing a retirement safety net, the CMA will help physicians have more energy and time to focus on self-care and patient advocacy.
When you sign the petition please use your real name as well as your medical practice address, inserting "Dr." before your first name and your CMA number in brackets after your last name. We ask individuals who are not medical students or physicians in Canada to not to sign this petition.
For colleagues who are more comfortable with pen and paper, the CNPPP cover letter and petition can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/2TfU6z8
Tweet to the CMA directly. Here's a template: "@CMA_Docs, I am Dr. [your name], a [your specialty] in [your city], and I support #CNPPP @DocPension"
Mr. Tim Smith, CEO
Dr. Gigi Osler, CMA President
Dr. Sandy Buchman, CMA President-Elect
Dr. Laurent Marcoux, CMA Past President
Dr. Brian Brodie, Chair of the Board of Directors
All CMA Board members
CMA senior leadership team
CMA Investco Inc. Board of Directors
CMA Holdings 2018 Inc. Board of Directors
Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
1867 Alta Vista Dr.
Ottawa, ON K1G 5W8
March 6, 2019
Dear leadership of the CMA and subsidiaries,
Re: Petition for Canadian National Physician Pension Plan
Canadian doctors need a national pension plan to be a vibrant profession that creates a healthy population.
Since the sale of MD Financial Management to Scotiabank for $2.585 billion, no clear physician-oriented initiatives have been proposed by CMA; certainly nothing new or bold.
It is obvious to us, Canadian doctors, that the proceeds from MDFM sale should be used on physician-directed projects. Canadian doctors are overworked, tired and burnt out. According to 2018 CMA National Physician Health Survey, more than one in four physicians and residents reported high levels of burnout, 34% screened positive for depression, almost 1 in 5 reported suicidal ideation during their lifetime.
The CMA has proposed no solution despite its mission of “supporting physicians” and its purpose of “driving meaningful change.” As Dr. Gigi Osler has recently put it, “if physicians aren’t well, patient care can be affected”. The health of our nation is at risk.
The best way to address the above issues would be to take away some of the financial burdens from Canadian physicians. Most of us do not have a pension plan. Most graduate with large debts, in our 30s, and have to save a large part of our gross income, given no allowance for vacation, parental leave, sick leave, pension, and any other benefits. The lack of retirement security is the single largest stressor in the lives of Canadian doctors.
Contract scrabbles with provincial governments, rising costs of overhead, and little in the way of retirement security – all compound to cause doctors to work more than they wish, have less time for themselves, and worry about their future. Thus, it is no surprise that half of Canadian physicians did not feel satisfied with their personal and work balance.
This is how the idea of the Canadian National Physician PensionPlan was born. Such a nation-wide plan, established using MDFM sale funds as seed money and open on a voluntary basis to any Canadian doctor, would concretely alleviate these pressures.
We, the undersigned, hereby urge the CMA leadership to allocate the MDFM sale funds, the entire $2.585 billion for establishment and management of a CNPPP. If we contribute for decades, invest the funds responsibly, like other major pension funds, the pension payment per year in retirement would be significant. This would alleviate physician concern and anxiety for their future, allowing physicians to have more time for self-care and patient advocacy today.
By this petition, according to CMA Bylaws (Chapter 7.4), we request a Special Meeting of members to be organized as soon as possible to discuss the establishment of CNPPP.
In our opinion, there is no other single initiative that would better address the high burnout rate of Canadian doctors.
Since the sale of MDFM, CMA needs to reconfirm its role as the national organization of Canadian physicians. Without a major physician-oriented project like CNPPP, CMA will rapidly become obsolete. CNPPP should become the new vision that holds CMA together.
The #CNPPP and the CMA have the same vision: a vibrant profession and a healthy population.
1. The #CNPPP will help the CMA drive meaningful change by championing a solution that supports its profession.
2. Sharing a single #CNPPP will help motivate Canadian doctors to be united as changemakers and collaborators under a single national organization.
3. The #CNPPP will create retirement security for physicians to bring their full talent and best ideas to health care today.
4. The #CNPPP will ensure the creation of an ongoing medical culture that cares for the social security and wellbeing of its members.
5. The #CNPPP will reduce burnout by ensuring a vibrant and proud medical culture.
Once again, we urge you to make CNPPP a reality to create a more desirable medical profession and a healthier Canadian population.
We look forward to your immediate response.
Undersigned Canadian physicians
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