Thursday, September 7, 2017

Canada's Entitled, Tax-shy Doctors

Doctors have always been entitled, at least since the medics got into the university and began awarding one another doctorates, a title held in mediaeval times to be equivalent in precedence to that of a knighthood.

But now, the poor dears, not content to be addressed in tones of respect by all and sundry, however many of their errors they may have buried, are bitching because the Federal Government says they must pay tax at the same rate as lower forms of life such as plumbers, bookkeepers and lawyers.

How so?

There are several proposed tax measures that have the doctors up in arms. So upset are they, indeed, that the poor dears are threatening to give up being doctors.

As if.

Among the proposed tax changes, is one that will require doctors who operate their medical practice as an incorporated business to pay tax at the top marginal rate of personal taxation on income generated from investments within the corporation, rather the 15% corporate tax rate.

The need for this change is obvious, since without it, a doctor or other business person who is not incorporated, and who, therefore, pays tax on investment income at the top marginal rate, is taxed more heavily than the incorporated business person. It is in other words, a simple matter of tax fairness. Equal tax rates for all Canadians.

But doctors, en masse, obsessed as their are with their own importance and expectation of very large incomes, seem incapable of assimilating this simple principle of equity.

An additional proposed tax change is designed to prevent a doctor from paying their spouse for services not rendered as a means to split income and thus reduce overall tax liability. Of course, if a husband or wife is employed in the business or professional practice of their spouse they may be paid a salary, provided only that the salary received is commensurate with the work performed.

But this obviously sound principle, is, apparently, to a doctor, impossible to understand. Or if doctors understand it, they cannot, as entitled beings, accept it. Instead they twitter idiotically about quitting the profession or leaving the country.

In response, good riddance to such idiots is really all that needs to be said.

There is no shortage of doctors. Or if there is, it is an entirely artificial shortage caused by (a) doctor-controlled medical schools limiting admissions to ensure a lack of competition within the profession; and (b) the medical profession's monopolistic control over the distribution of drugs.

As for the doctors' control over admission to medical school, that should be overridden by provincial governments, which through their control over university funding, can dictate whatever admissions to medical school they want. Certainly, there will be no shortage of applicants for whatever places are made available.

And as for the doctors' control over the prescription of drugs, that should be broken by the creation of a new profession of certified medical diagnostician. A medical diagnostician, or CMD, would take a university level course in medical diagnostics, which would include intensive training in the use of artificially intelligent systems in medical diagnosis. Thus qualified, the CMD, would prescribe medication or refer clients to medical services as required.

Freed of the daily routine of patient consultations, doctors could get on with what they all say, when seeking entry to medical school that they really want to do, namely, help people. With CMD's undertaking the daily diagnostic work, while dealing with the malingerers and drug fiends, doctors will be free to get on with patching and stitching up the wounded, and otherwise actually practicing the healing arts.

That way, they'd be too preoccupied with their professional responsibilities to worry about schemes of  tax avoidance.

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