McNeil must stand with Nova Scotian doctors

September 07, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Local doctor says he’ll be impacted by proposed tax changes

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says Stephen McNeil should care more about Nova Scotia’s doctor shortage than playing nice with the Ottawa Liberals.

The federal Liberals have proposed tax changes that will further damage Nova Scotia’s health care system, and with over 100,000 Nova Scotians currently living without a family doctor, the last thing our province needs is another recruiting roadblock or another reason for doctors to leave.

Since the federal Liberal government announced these tax changes in the middle of summer, leader Jamie Baillie has met with several professionals who are deeply concerned, including Dr. Neil Finkle, a nephrologist in Halifax.

“I wanted to hear directly from doctors about the real impact these changes will have on our fragile health care system,” says Baillie. “These changes are reckless. We should all be concerned with what the future looks like. I’m equally concerned that Premier McNeil hasn’t denounced these tax changes.”

These legal tax measures have been in place for decades. They are a legitimate tool for any business, including doctors, to deal with the costs of increasing overhead expenses.

“When doctors decide to open a practice, they’re not given the same benefits other employees receive such as paid sick leave, parental leave or employment insurance of any kind. We’re on our own when it comes to securing a pension or planning for a rainy day,” says Dr. Finkle. “My family and I will be deeply impacted by these catastrophic changes and it won’t make financial sense to stay and practice here.”

The Progressive Conservative Party launched a petition last week urging Premier McNeil to defend Nova Scotia’s entrepreneurs, doctors and families from the federal tax increase.

“With Nova Scotia’s rapidly aging population, having one of the highest burdens of illness in Canada and currently having a critical shortage of doctors, the Premier should be concerned,” says Baillie. “Nova Scotians deserve a Premier who will fight and protect them from tax increases proposed by the Ottawa Liberals.”

Dr. Finkle has written to provincial and federal politicians explaining how these tax changes would hurt his practice. He has not received a response or been acknowledged by Premier McNeil, Minister Delorey or Minister Casey.

Baillie will bring the petition to the legislature this Fall session. An online version of the petition can be found at defendns.ca.