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The rationale for having a professional association like the Québec Medical Association (QMA) is to bring together individual strengths to create an organized co-operative force in order to defend the professional interests of Québec physicians and to support them in their practice and personal life. By joining the QMA, you automatically become a member of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Thanks to their large memberships — about 10,000 members in Québec and 75,000 in Canada — the QMA and CMA are able to negotiate agreements with partners in order to offer superior quality products and services at a lower cost and adapted to the needs of physicians.
The QMA’s mission is different from the mission of the medical federations. Its activities complement those of the College of Physicians and the federations. It allows its members to access open forums, share knowledge and opinions, and take part in discussions of ideas.
In fact, the QMA is the only organization that can speak on behalf of the entire medical profession in Quebec since its numbers are made up of practising physicians, general practitioners or specialists, residents and medical students. It intervenes in debates involving the physician’s role in the organization of services, public health, the professional independence of physicians, and developments in medical practice.
Its non-union nature allows it to take a position on these issues beyond the constraints of any negotiations.
Federations, on the other hand, are unions whose primary mission is to negotiate with the State regarding working conditions and the compensation of physicians.
Membership in the QMA is voluntary. Currently, close to 10,000 members of the medical profession have chosen to join because they believe in common representation of the entire profession and because they feel that the support the association offers through reflection, representation and member services makes it worthwhile to be a member of the QMA.
The QMA encourages physicians to participate and take action in issues that concern them, such as the organization of health care, practice methods, the future of medicine in Québec and the health of the population.
Through the reflections led by its committees, think tanks and expert groups, its efforts to stay abreast of current medical news and its exchanges with the other provincial medical associations, the QMA gives physicians the capacity to intervene publicly and present their concerns to government authorities. This political power makes it possible to defend the greater interests of the profession and to promote the accessibility and quality of health care.
Founded in 1922, the QMA is a Québec association administered by a board of directors consisting solely of Québec physicians. It is independent in terms of its operations and the positions it takes on issues.
A partner of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the QMA constitutes the official corporate link to the medical profession in Canada and the other provinces. By becoming a member of the QMA, a physician in Québec automatically becomes a member of the CMA.
The QMA contributes actively to various CMA bodies. Not only does it have the opportunity to intervene at the national level to influence Canadian policies, it can also convey the reality in Québec to the Canadian medical profession.
The CMA is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in Canada. It shapes federal public policies on issues such as access to health care, human resources in health care, medical professionalism and federal health care funding. Through the CMA, physicians in Québec are present when decisions are made in Ottawa and have the power to influence vital issues such as health care transfer payments.
The representatives for the Québec members are invited to take part in national committees and events, and have the opportunity to discuss issues with their colleagues from the other provinces. In addition, the CMA’s large membership (more than 75,000) enables it to develop a wide range of quality products and services that are adapted to the needs of physicians.
The QMA’s position statements are supported by the work of the committees and expert groups, as well as consultations with members carried out through discussion groups and surveys by telephone or e-mail. The QMA has intervened on various issues such as the project to create a Health and Welfare Commissioner, physicians and the infections transmitted through blood, the physician's role in implementing local health and social services networks, the draft drug policy and anti-smoking legislation.
Part of the money from membership fees goes to fund reflection, discussion, consultation and representation activities on issues related to the professional independence of physicians, the organization of health care and the future of the medical profession in Québec.
Also, because some decisions are made in Ottawa, a share of the membership fees is paid to the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) for its research activities and representation at the federal level.
Finally, money from the membership fees is also used by the QMA and CMA to develop and manage the programs, products and services created to offer members professional and personal support.
A wide range of exclusive products and services has been developed by the QMA and CMA to support members at all stages in their career. Some examples are on-line clinical resources and tools, financial planning and management services, group insurance solutions and practice management services.
If you receive fee-for-service payment as part of your medical practice, the membership fee is deductible as an expense when calculating your net income from self-employment. For more details on the tax legislation, talk to your income tax advisor.