Physicians’ offices play an important role in Canada’s economy — directly and indirectly responsible for 289,000 jobs, according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada.
The Economic Influence of Physicians’ Offices, commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), reveals that in 2019, physicians’ offices contributed $39.5 billion to Canada’s economy, including employment and purchases of goods and services.
For every employed physician, there are an additional 1.91 jobs supported in their offices.
“In addition to providing core health infrastructure, physicians' offices are a key component of Canada's economy — making significant contributions to the communities in which they operate and to the country as a whole.” – Dr. Ann Collins, CMA president
There were 46,934 physicians’ offices operating in Canada as of December 2019. According to the Conference Board, in terms of employment, physicians’ offices directly employ more Canadians than telecommunications; utilities; legal services; and the postal service, couriers and messengers.
Other key findings:
- In 2019, physicians’ offices contributed more than $13.8 billion in taxes to federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments.
- Regionally, physicians’ offices contributed nearly $14 billion to Ontario’s GDP in 2019, followed by Quebec at $9.6 billion, Alberta at $5.7 billion and British Columbia at $5.6 billion.
- In total, of the 167,000 jobs directly created by physicians’ offices, nearly 110,000 were roles for non-physician health care professionals and other staff working out of the offices.
Impact of COVID-19
A survey conducted by the CMA found that 91% of physicians reported a reduction in patient care, with 33% experiencing a drop of more than 50%. Many family physicians and specialists have experienced a dramatic decrease in appointments unrelated to COVID-19, contributing to staff layoffs and office closures.
"Considering the impacts of the pandemic, CMA has welcomed measures by governments to ensure the stability of physicians’ practices through this unprecedented time. We continue to encourage such measures be made available to physician practices, recognizing their dual contribution to the health of Canadians and to the economy," explains Dr. Collins.