Fund to support future initiatives and research, plus reduce physician fees in 2022
In April 2021, Council surveyed the profession on how to invest a growing building reserve fund back into the profession. CPSA collected these funds ($150 from each physician as part of their annual renewal from 2012-2016) with the intent to purchase or buy new office space within five years. In total, we collected $6,866,437.50 from physicians.
In 2018, with favourable lease rates, Council decided to continue leasing CPSA’s current office space until February 2029. CPSA also renovated its office to meet operational needs and accommodate a growing team.
With the reserve fund no longer required for its original purpose, Council sought feedback from the profession to help decide what to do with the original money plus its interest from investments over the last nine years (totaling $9 million+ as of April 30, 2021).
What we heard from physicians—the survey results
Almost 2,000 physicians responded to the survey (a response rate of 17.8 per cent). Here is what we found:
We also received over 300 detailed and thoughtful comments, suggestions and ideas through survey comments and direct emails. Some physicians requested we refund the money. However, this is not legally possible as it was collected with annual fees, not as a separate levy. Canada Revenue Agency rules also prohibit CPSA from returning money/property to our members. This has been a learning opportunity for CPSA, and we will apply what we learned if we ever need to collect special fees in the future.
Council’s decision meets 91% of survey respondents’ requests
Listening to physicians—Council’s decision
After much discussion, analysis and consideration of physician feedback, Council has decided to spread the fund over two of the proposed options:
- $5 million of the Building Fund will be reserved for programs, initiatives or research that will benefit all physicians, and ultimately Albertans (Option #3). CPSA will seek partners to match and grow this amount, creating a sum that can make a positive, long-term impact on the profession and medicine in Alberta. The next step is to set up a task force to make informed decisions on how to allocate the money and evaluate its use and impacts.
- The remainder of the Building Fund (approximately $4 million+) will go towards CPSA operations, thereby creating a one-time annual fee reduction for all practising Alberta physicians in independent practice in 2022 who normally pay the full annual fee (Option #1). The amount will equal an estimated $350 off the 2022 annual fees.
By spreading the fund over these two options, Council is meeting 91 per cent of survey respondents’ requests and is thankful to all those who shared their feedback.
Please watch future issues of The Messenger on developments surrounding the Building Fund.
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