Countering the shortage of doctors A national license to practice studies

(Saint-Jean) With healthcare systems currently struggling with a shortage of doctors, the outgoing president of the Canadian Medical Association is proposing creating a single national licensing system – and some provinces have backed the idea.

Posted at 5:12 p.m

Sarah Smelly
The Canadian Press

Currently, each province issues its medical practice licenses within its territory. dr Katharine Smart, in a recent interview, believes that this system is very cumbersome and expensive, especially for doctors trained outside of Canada.

She believes that a national accreditation system would verify the credentials of foreign-trained physicians through a single, streamlined mechanism across the country.

“It doesn’t really make sense for (all) states to accredit each university or each state independently,” she Clever. It would be logical to do this once for the whole country. »

dr Smart, a pediatrician in Whitehorse, Yukon, says foreign-trained doctors come to Canada hoping to practice their profession, but are often hampered by an expensive and complicated licensing process.

She believes many of these doctors will eventually migrate to other countries where it is easier to practice. “Many are never able to enter the system and eventually practice medicine. »

The problem of cumbersome systems for foreign-trained doctors has recently come to a head in several provinces. Last month, Ontario Secretary of Health Sylvia Jones called on the province’s vocational colleges to develop plans to accelerate the accreditation of overseas-trained doctors and nurses.

“The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has already taken steps to facilitate interprovincial (accreditation) with just one day’s notice to address urgent needs,” college spokesman Shae Greenfield said in a Wednesday statement E-mail. He added that the college had also proposed to the government to create a new temporary registration class “specifically designed to support inter-provincial and inter-territorial mobility”.

Other provinces like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are currently trying to streamline their procedures as they welcome Ukrainian doctors fleeing the war in their country.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador is poised to “explore the concept of physician mobility across Canada while maintaining our mandate to protect the public,” according to a statement emailed Thursday.

In Nova Scotia, Dr. Gus Grant, chancellor of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, said the idea of ​​a national licensing system makes sense, even if it would be a huge administrative burden.

Meanwhile, Mr. Grant noted that the four Atlantic provinces are discussing ways to coordinate their licensing mechanisms in the Atlantic region. “I think it’s easier and quicker to do,” he said. I am very happy to see the momentum of this collaboration now. »

Darren Pena

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