Canadian Medical Association

Dear members,

We know that across Canada many physicians are grappling with the financial implications of COVID-19, and they are a central issue in our current advocacy to government. Today, I’m pleased to share our brief to the federal minister of finance, which lays out the challenges you’ve been facing and proposes a series of recommendations to help address them.

Recognizing that some physicians are finding themselves ineligible for federal support programs, we’re recommending the government expand the eligibility criteria to include hospital-based specialists, physician practices that operate as a small business but may not meet technical criteria, and physicians delivering locum medical care.

Learn more about existing federal assistance programs, and what types of practices are currently eligible

We’re also recommending new federal measures to address the unique risks and additional costs borne by physicians and other front-line health care workers during this time. These include a new income tax deduction to recognize these risks, a doubling of the child-care deduction and a temporary emergency tax deduction for those who’ve had to seek alternative accommodations to self-isolate.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be meeting with key federal representatives to discuss these recommendations in detail. And we’ll continue to work with the provincial and territorial medical associations as appropriate on further income stabilization measures to be delivered by the provinces and territories.

Calling for government action on seniors care

The CMA has long advocated for a national seniors strategy that would improve the way we care for aging Canadians, and the pandemic has revealed why this is more important than ever. With reports emerging on the shocking and inexcusable state of some long-term care homes, we’re calling on the federal government to take action to address the crisis. We remain available to support them in this work, during the pandemic and beyond.

Shaping our post-pandemic work

As public health restrictions gradually lift and the focus turns toward pandemic recovery, we’ve convened a group of experts to inform our work in this area. The Post-Pandemic Expert Advisory Group will be tasked with reviewing the impacts of the pandemic on the medical profession and health care system, identifying any emerging issues and considerations in the short-term and highlighting lessons learned to inform our longer-term strategy development.

The members bring a wide range of viewpoints to the group, including medicine, allied health, economics, public health and the patient perspective. They are:

  • Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, Chair
  • Dr. Ann Collins
  • Dr. Chris Simpson
  • Dr. David Naylor
  • Dr. Andrew Boozary
  • Dr. Jesse Kancir
  • Dr. David-Martin Milot
  • Michael Villeneuve (Canadian Nurses Association)
  • Don Drummond (Queen’s University)
  • Bonnie Brossart (Saskatchewan Medical Association)
  • Claire Snyman (CMA Patient Voice)

We look forward to keeping you updated on their work in the months ahead.

New member resources

  • First-year resident Dr. Stephanie Smith explains how the STRIVE mental readiness model she learned in the military (and adapted for medical students) can help medical professionals deal with the stresses of practising during a pandemic.

  • A reminder that Joule is hosting two more online mindfulness workshops on the evenings of June 2 and 8. Find out more about these free, interactive sessions and register.

As a reminder, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or suggestions related to COVID-19. Our Member Service Centre can be reached at memberservicecentre@cma.ca or toll-free at 1-888-855-2555 (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm EDT).

Thank you once again for your compassion and dedication,
Dr. Sandy Buchman


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