Rising Medical Student Tuition in Ontario

Endorsed In: 
May, 2018
Paper Type: 
Position Paper

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Authors:

  • Nawid Sayed (Queen's University)
  • Craig Rodrigues (Queen's University)
  • Victoria Reedman (University of Toronto)
  • Sydney McQueen (University of Toronto)

Background: ‚Äč

Medical education is known to be a particularly stressful time for aspiring physicians. Students undergo 3-4 years of intensive formal education with the goal of preparing them for the ultimate responsibility of caring for patients in residency. The financial toll of medical training is predominantly driven by an unprecedented increase in medical tuition fees. Ontario set a precedent for drastic increases in tuition in May 1998, when the Tory government deregulated increases in tuition for professional programs such as Medicine and Dentistry. Over a 3 year period, from 1997 to 2000, tuition rates for 5 Ontario medical schools went up by an astounding 116%, compared to just 13% at other Canadian medical schools. An urgent call is being put forward to implement a freeze on medical tuition rates and to restructure OSAP and line of credit debt repayment schedules.

Recommendations:

  • Place an indefinite freeze on medical school tuition in response to the disproportionate historical rise in tuition above the national inflation rate. This will result in savings of $8009.
  • Postpone both OSAP and line of credit interest repayment until after residency, when students have the financial flexibility to afford these payments. This would result in savings between $7617 (OSAP component) and $24,213 (both OSAP and line of credit).
  • Allow students to fund their medical school years entirely through OSAP loans. This would offer savings of $10,056 in line of credit interest payments while students are in medical school. The government would simultaneously benefit in the form of increased interest payments coming from a low risk investment.