Hi Doc Schmadia, thank you for your post. I have been seeing posts like yours around the news recently citing a number of physician pay related issues like overhead costs and taxes and so on. I am sympathetic to your plight and the plight of Ontario’s doctors. However, I feel there are a few things worth noting.
First, on the overhead issue. I agree this is the case for physicians running independent clinics where all of these business expenses occur. But not all doctors run clinics such as this. Physicians working out of walk-in clinics don’t, physicians working out of hospital office/clinics don’t, etc. I think it’s kind of disingenuous that this overhead argument is presented (without average statistics on these overhead costs as actual dollar figures or percentages of revenue generated to boot) when it doesn’t actually apply to all doctors equally.
Second, I think taxes are a very relevant thing to note. It was not hard to find you on the CPSO and I can see that you run a medical professional corporation. This means that you pay the corporate tax rate and not the personal tax rate. These rates are substantially different and indeed, partially designed to accommodate doctors making corporation related expenses, such as overhead. You can’t complain about overhead on the one hand and not acknowledge the benefits of incorporation on the other.
To be frank, in this economy it is a bitter pill to swallow for everyone that costs are going up, unemployment is crushing, and taxes are flat, yet physicians, who by your own admission are well compensated, aren’t getting paid enough? This isn’t the oppression olympics; I believe physicians should be well compensated. But at the same time, physicians are not poorly paid in Ontario’s system. I have had to compare salaries across provinces and Ontario doctors do very well across the country. And we’re not entirely broke like Alberta either. Health care costs in Ontario are not sustainable. How can there be negotiations if the baseline premise of the OMA and doctors like yourself be to cut from everywhere but us?