Government needs to recognize there are no cheap fixes for our ailing health-care system, says letter writer. (Stock photo)

Government needs to recognize there are no cheap fixes for our ailing health-care system, says letter writer. (Stock photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Doctors should have greater role in determining how health-care dollars are spent

Doctors need to be able to profitably invest in their practices, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Primary care reform would improve B.C.’s health, Opinion, May 4.

This op-ed discusses providing incentives to improve primary care. I agree. It is time that we recognized that all our medical professionals are public servants – they are paid solely by the taxpayer, and they have no incentive to invest in their own businesses. We could change that, and improve our health care system if financial incentives were created.

What about providing a serious tax credit system for those who invest in medical and diagnostic equipment? A doctor, or group of doctors who invest, for example, in a new ultrasound facility in their office, could qualify for a 150-per cent tax credit.

Sounds expensive? Well yes, but there is no cheap fix to our ailing system. So instead of the federal government providing money with its use determined by provincial bureaucrats, put that money into funding tax credits and ongoing costs of running new equipment, and let medical professionals decide on where at least some of our health-care money goes.

I would suggest that such a system would see more young doctors being attracted to family practice if they could profitably invest in their practice and really treat patients instead of being gatekeepers to specialist and surgical services.

Michael Hunter, Nanaimo


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