Doctors Refuse to be Paid Less
Doctors working in the emergency department at Thunder Bay Regional Hospital have announced that if the Trudeau government moves forward with the newly proposed tax changes, many will be poised to resign, retire or relocate.
The warning is made in an open letter to MPs Patty Hajdu and Don Rusnak, and signed by 16 doctors identifying themselves as a coalition of physicians opposed to the tax changes.
In their letter, the Thunder Bay Regional ER doctors caution that the government has made “a profound miscalculation” by failing to consider the repercussions on health care in places such as northern Ontario.
They note that the ability to incorporate was given to them by the government in lieu of increasing their fees in the early 2000s.
Lacking Fee Increases
The doctors add that, while Ontario has refused to increase physicians’ fees since 2005, the province has unilaterally imposed reductions which equate to a 7 per cent cut in fees for ER physicians.
The letter goes on to point out that doctors have no pension plan, medical/dental benefits, sick days or vacation pay. The proposed tax changes, they say, will significantly diminish their ability to save for retirement.
“Many of us are simply not willing to continue doing our present job if the changes are implemented,” the doctors warn.
The outcome, they conclude, may result in the Thunder Bay ER not being fully staffed 24/7.
“We are, with this letter, notifying the government and the hospital administration that…(they) would be wise to have a plan to ensure the health of those in our community is not compromised due to a sudden loss of ER physicians.”
A joint response was issued late Tuesday afternoon by MPs Hajdu and Rusnak, defending the government’s plan.
They said the current tax rules allow some of the wealthiest Canadians to take advantage of rules that other Canadians can’t, in order to pay less tax. “Just because it’s currently legal, doesn’t mean it’s fair,” the statement said.