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Letter: Consider tax credits as remedy for doctor shortage

Municipal property tax rebates, provincial credits for MSP billing could help make it easier for doctors to open offices.
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Tax breaks could help alleviate a shortage of doctors, a reader says.


When I read about the family doctor shortage, and how the only option appears to be asking the federal government for more funding to pay doctors more, I can't help but wonder whether other options are available to us at the community and provincial levels.

At the civic level, can we not look at giving a property tax rebate to family doctors' offices? What if those mass developments at Brentwood, Lougheed and Metrotown were to offer a rent rebate to family doctors?

Would that not help attract GPs to open offices in newly developed high-density communities? Imagine the marketing opportunities where the tradeoff for doctors' discounted rent is that residents would be added automatically to the patient list? The billing is still public, and the doctors' office can always take the general public in addition to residents. Forget about proximity to coffee shops and nail bars as an amenity, everyone needs a doctor at some point in time!

Last but not least, what if the province were to offer a non-refundable tax credit for MSP billing codes related to family doctor services?

Rather than passing the blame and responsibility to a higher level of government, there may be potential options available to civic and provincial governments, and even to developers to make it more affordable for family doctors to set up shop here.

Teng Fan