Maritime doctors threaten to leave region over tax changes
Published Saturday, September 30, 2017 7:29PM ADT
Doctors in the region have issued a stark warning saying some will leave the Maritimes, others will retire early and some will reduce their working hours over the federal government’s proposed tax changes.
"Between 50 and 70 per cent of physicians are already burnt-out,” said Dr. Tim Wallace. “This is going to lead to something much bigger."
Wallace says tax changes proposed by Ottawa will have a profound impact on health care in the Maritimes and he feels doctors in the province are already feeling undervalued.
"In Nova Scotia we have a fair amount of people who have already been contacted by recruiters in other countries,” he said. “I've already received one letter of resignation, this is going to happen."
Physician groups met in Moncton Friday to warn that the tax changes will increase the number of early retirements, increase the number of doctors moving to other countries, and lead to doctors reducing their workload.
As a result, physicians are asking Ottawa to take another look at the consequences.
"One of the things that we've stressed is, let's stop,” said president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, Dr. Lynn Murphy-Kaulbeck. “Let's hold off for a bit. Take some more time and let's really truly look at what some of the ramifications are."
In recent weeks, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been receiving complaints mostly from the small business community, including at a recent stop in New Brunswick.
"We need to get on this. You know, we're moving forward but we're moving forward taking people's considerations into account,” said Morneau in Fredericton on Sept. 23.
Doctors say the current rules allow them to save for retirement and they help to recruit physicians from other countries.
Doctors are also calling on Premier Brian Gallant to get involved.
"I think one of the other concerns that we have is that we have not heard from our Premier or from our provincial government on this issue,” said Dr. Murphy-Kaulbeck.
Prince Edward Island’s Premier, Wade MacLauchlan has issued a letter calling on the federal government to hold off on tax changes and extend the period of time for public consultation.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.