Hello and Happy New Year!
As we start off this new year at the College, I wanted to follow up on the recent approval of the 2023 Operating and Capital budget at December’s Board meeting; in particular, why you will see an increase in fees when completing your annual renewal through to March 10 this year.
Each year the College raises its fees by the percent increase, if any, in the consumer price index (CPI) for goods and services. Not to bore you with the technicalities, but the reason College fees are linked to the CPI is found in a By-Law that was approved in 2020. The intention was to prevent the need for large increases in fees in any single year by keeping up with inflation. The first CPI-linked increase was in 2021.
As we all know, 2022 brought shocking inflation. As a result, this year’s CPI-linked fee increase is higher than any of us would have predicted. The work the College must do is set out in legislation. The law also requires that we are funded through fees from pharmacy professionals, pharmacies and applicants. Our costs, like yours, continue to go up. I am not sure that it will bring you any comfort, but even with this increase, your Ontario fees are still significantly lower than most other Canadian jurisdictions. That’s the luck of numbers – because we have more registrants, the cost per person is lower. I recognize that does not mean that you are not bearing the burden of inflation in your professional and personal lives.
Moving forward, I will provide you with information about how your fees are distributed across College activities. My goal is to be as transparent as possible.
In the meantime, if you are interested, please consider attending a College Board meeting or reviewing Board materials to get more insight into how decisions about budgets and other College activities are made. Better yet, consider whether you might be interested in being part of the decision-making by joining the Board.
One final note on behalf of patients – thank you. Every time I write a message to you, your scope has increased, and you are offering more services than ever before. Please take care of yourselves because we need you.