The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association is frustrated with the provincial government after it announced surprise cuts to MCP funding.
According to the group, there has been a lack of proper consultation between the provincial government and NLMA.
Rob Ritter, the association's executive director, said they felt their concerns were not taken into account when government made the decision to cut funding to various programs.
"We've been trying to engage government, and the [health] minister in particular, on a number of initiatives that we felt required thorough consultation, and we felt that we weren't getting a hearing," Ritter said.
"The department has called us and said, 'We would like to have a meeting,' when they got wind of the fact that we were going to be having a press conference."
Ritter said the association was notified of the cuts only a half hour before the information was released.
"If they try to solve some of these very serious problems without consulting the people who are on the front lines, and who understand and have the expertise, they're going to end up making some very serious mistakes," Ritter said.
Group warning against cuts
Last week, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said the Newfoundland and Labrador government should avoid cutting spending to reduce the deficit.
Diana Gibson, the lead author of the report, said it is important for the government to ensure the citizens of the province share in the wealth of the economy.
According to Gibson, a high percentage of the economy goes to large corporations — almost twice the Canadian average.
In the report, the agency recommended government focus on increasing the taxes from high-income earners and large corporations.
"What you do is you have a threshold for size of the company, so it hits just the very large, mostly multi-national ones, and you do it across all sectors, and it’s extraordinary profits," she said.
Gibson said the resource-based economy of the province will not lead to more job creation in the province.
"Resource economies are vulnerable to inequality rising and Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest market income inequality in Canada, though it’s mitigated quite well by taxes, but they’ve been going the wrong direction on that," Gibson said.
"What we recommend is that Newfoundland and Labrador ensure that they have progressivity at the high end of the income tax bracket, capture a bit more revenue there, but also mitigate inequality," she said.
"To ensure that Newfoundlanders share in the wealth and that they don’t hinder economic growth by having too much inequality, we recommend that the government capture a bit more revenue at the top end with the higher tax bracket."
The report was commissioned by the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour.