The provincial government publishes an annual report of all payments made to physicians by Medicare for medically insured services. The New Brunswick Medical Society supports this transparency and accountability to taxpayers on how their provincial health-care budget is spent. To fully understand the figures provided, however, some context is necessary.
What many New Brunswickers may not realize is that these payments do not represent a physician’s personal income. Most New Brunswick physicians are small business owners. They are responsible for significant operating costs such as office rent, staff salaries and benefits, medical equipment, and insurance. They are also subject to some of the highest income tax rates in the country. Early career physicians often start out with significant student debt from years of training.
If New Brunswick is to address major health care issues such as access to primary care or surgical and specialist wait times, we need to be successful in recruiting and retaining physicians. This will not be possible unless we remain competitive with other jurisdictions in Canada and abroad.
Dr. Mark MacMillan
President, New Brunswick Medical Society
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