Stop #UnfairTaxChanges: Access to Canada's Health Care Threatened
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On July 18, 2017, the Government of Canada, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced its intentions to alter the current tax laws for small businesses. The impact of these proposed changes will be immense and disastrous. As hard-working members of society, small businesses provide the economic backbone of Canada. Small business owners receive none of the paid benefits that salaried employees do. The risks and costs of running a small business are high. Tax assistance is vital to ensure the survival of small businesses.
Our Canadian doctors are independent of the government and run their clinics like small businesses without any support from the government. Without pensions or any benefits, such as sick leave, maternity leave, health benefits or paid vacation, physicians must independently cover all of the costs of running their offices. Costs include staffing, rent, utilities, all medical equipment/diagnostics, and all medical supplies on top of mandatory licensing and registration fees. This overhead can be between 30-60%. There are 88,000 physicians in Canada and the majority are self-employed. Each office employs on average 4-6 staff. This allows our physicians to run accessible and efficient offices to help patients obtain medically necessary care. Elimination of tax arrangements which were legally negotiated to help physicians control the expense of running offices will impact patients directly.
If these proposed taxation changes are passed, Canada’s doctors will be forced to downsize offices and lay off employees. Many provinces have had millions to billions in unilateral cuts to frontline patient care over the past few years. In Ontario alone, our doctors are now into their fourth year without a contract and there has been over $3.7 Billion unilaterally cut since 2015 by the provincial government from the patient services that our doctors provide. There are millions of patients in Canada without a family doctor and unprecedented wait times for specialists. Medical clinics are already struggling to stay afloat. With these federal tax changes, our physicians will be forced to further reduce clinic hours and cut patient services, ultimately leading to longer and longer wait times. Some physicians will close their offices and retire early or leave Canada. Patient accessibility of medical care in Canada already ranks third last amongst all of the wealthy countries (Commonwealth Fund). These tax changes will be further detrimental to Canada's already ailing health care system.
Patients and their physicians deserve and need access to timely and quality medical care in Canada. We all deserve fair taxes to help promote small businesses and ensure their survival.
We the Undersigned, concerned patients and doctors of Canada, urge Prime Minister Trudeau to preserve fair small business tax laws and not further erode access to our precious health care system. Patients can never come first when frontlines doctors are put last.
#ProtectSmallBiz #StopMDExodus #CareNotCuts
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