Principles of assistance
Incorporation of a medical practice in Québec
Originally published June 2007 / Reviewed July 2013
The following outlines the CMPA's principles of assistance for members who incorporate a medical practice in the province of Québec.
Québec's Regulation respecting the practice of the medical profession within a partnership or a company authorizes the practice of medicine within a company (i.e. corporation) or limited liability partnership in the province.
The Regulation contains specific requirements concerning the holding of shares. This is to ensure physicians remain in control of the company or partnership at all times.
The Regulation also requires that a physician provide confirmation to the Québec College of Physicians that he or she holds adequate liability protection for the company or partnership. Section 14 of the Regulation specifically states this can be accomplished by remitting "to the secretary a proof that the partnership or company is eligible to receive the assistance offered by the Canadian Medical Protective Association and by maintaining its eligibility regarding any liability that it may incur owing to fault or negligence committed by the physicians in the practice of their profession within that partnership or company."
Single physician owner corporation (company)
If a physician chooses to incorporate a medical practice, CMPA assistance will generally extend to the company provided:
- the physician is a member of the CMPA, and
- the medical practice is incorporated in accordance with the Regulation respecting the practice of the medical profession within a partnership or a company.
CMPA assistance may be limited or not available if the member uses the company to employ individuals who can provide services to patients independently. An individual who treats patients independently is someone who does not work under the direct supervision of the physician and who provides services that are not dictated by a treatment plan established by the physician.
A company that employs individuals who can provide services to patients independently is considered a clinic for the purposes of CMPA assistance. In such circumstances, the company's eligibility for CMPA assistance will also be determined in accordance with the CMPA's principles of assistance to clinics and facilities.
Proof of eligibility from the CMPA
The CMPA wrote to the Québec College of Physicians to advise that a single physician who is a member of the CMPA and chooses to incorporate his or her practice in accordance with the Regulation is eligible to receive CMPA assistance for that company, provided the company does not employ any individuals who can provide services to patients independently.
The College has accepted the CMPA's communication as the proof required by section 14 of the Regulation in cases where it is applicable.
This proof of eligibility will remain valid as long as the physician is a member of the CMPA, the physicians remains the sole shareholder of voting shares, the company continues to be structured in accordance with the Regulation, and the company does not employ individuals having the ability to treat patients independently.
Corporation (company) or partnership owned by multiple physicians or operating a clinic
If a physician chooses to incorporate a medical practice or practises medicine within a partnership, CMPA assistance will generally extend to the company or partnership provided it meets 3 conditions:
- The company or partnership is structured to conform with the Regulation respecting the practice of the medical profession within a partnership or a company.
- All physicians who have voting rights or hold shares with voting rights in the partnership or company (whether they do so personally or through a legal entity, trust or enterprise) are CMPA members.
- All physicians practising at any time within the partnership or company are CMPA members.
If a member chooses to use a professional corporation to own or operate a clinic or facility, then the corporation's eligibility for CMPA assistance will also be determined in accordance with the CMPA's principles of assistance to clinics and facilities.
Proof of eligibility from the CMPA
Members should contact the CMPA to obtain the proof required by section 14 of the Regulation. A statement of eligibility will be provided if the CMPA is satisfied the company or partnership is generally eligible to receive CMPA assistance.
The statement of eligibility provided by the CMPA remains valid as long as the partnership or company continues to be structured in accordance with the 3 conditions described above and the principles of eligibility applicable to clinics, if the partnership or company operates a clinic.