Listening and connecting with membership has been a central focus for the CMA in 2019. We want to know about the issues that matter to you and the patients in your care.
Earlier this year, we held a series of regional member forums to take a deeper look into two of those issues: physician wellness and Canada’s physician workforce. There, members shared their experiences and concerns, and suggested what actions the CMA could take in these areas. We’ve also been welcoming ideas online through our community engagement platform and at meetings with the provincial and territorial medical associations.
These member insights have helped set the course for our work this year. For example:
- We've joined forces with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada to innovate and support better access to virtual care.
- A physician leader has joined our senior team to champion physician wellness.
- We're also funding projects across Canada, in collaboration with MD Financial Management and Scotiabank, to build supports for physicians.
Throughout the year, members have also had the chance to share their own big, bold ideas for our advocacy work. One of those suggestions was for the CMA to create a national pension plan for physicians. After looking into the options with Mercer, an independent pension expert, we’ve learned that in the absence of an employer-employee relationship, we’re unable to create or contribute to a pension plan for physicians. Since most physicians are independent contractors, there is no legal mechanism for the CMA to establish a pension plan for Canada’s physicians.
We recognize that financial well-being is a major part of physicians’ overall health and wellness, especially as they move into retirement. We’re committed to working closely with the provincial and territorial medical associations and will continue to advocate for improved retirement planning options − such as raising limits for tax supported savings vehicles or passive income limits and expanding income splitting for incorporated doctors.
Canada’s physicians are taking steps each and every day to build a better health care system and to make a difference for patients, communities and the medical profession. The CMA will continue to work closely with its members to determine the best way to support them in this important work.
We invite our members to join us at our upcoming AGM on August 11 in Toronto to share ideas and ask questions. Building on your input, the CMA Board of Directors will be reflecting on the feedback received throughout the year when it meets in October to set the course for 2020 and beyond.