Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News

Canadian Medical Association Journal ends its news coverage and closes CMAJ Open

BMJ 2023; 381 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p1049 (Published 09 May 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p1049

Rapid Response:

Re: More context on CMAJ and financial sustainability

Dear Editor
With respect to the financial sustainability of the CMAJ (and CMAJ Open) some more information and context might be useful for readers. CMA also used to run 'MD Financial' for over 50 years - this was an financial management firm trusted by many, if not most, Canadian doctors who put all their savings in its hands for years, and often generations. In 2018, CMA sold MD Financial to Scotiabank for C$2.585 billion dollars. Yet it finds running CMAJ open, and covering healthcare news from CMAJ to not be financially viable. It is not clear how the money is being otherwise utilized (eg with spinoffs like https://joulecma.ca/ and more).

The decision to sell MD financial to a corporate bank was done with zero membership consultation, and it sad that the proceeds of that sale are not being used to support CMAJ and CMAJ Open.

This, of course, follows several infamous corporate decisions including (twice) summarily firing the CMAJ editors in chiefs. This was Dr John Hoey (after which CMA formed an editorial oversight committee to address the outcry https://www.cmaj.ca/content/174/7/901.short) in 2006 and then John Fletcher a decade later - along with the Editorial Oversight Committee (https://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i1302)

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 May 2023
Swapnil Hiremath
Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
1967 Riverside Dr